TN Arts Commission Awarded Funds for Music & Memory Tennessee

From Kim Johnson, Director of Arts Access –

The Tennessee Arts Commission has been awarded Civil Monetary Penalty funding by the Tennessee Department of Health and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to implement a $1 million Music & Memory Tennessee program in 147 nursing home facilities across the state. 

The Tennessee Arts Commission — in partnership with the Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability, Tennessee Health Care Association, Music and Memory, Inc., Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s Tennessee, Volunteer Tennessee and the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum — will offer Music & Memory Tennesseeto a minimum of 2,205 residents including those suffering with dementia or Alzheimer’s in 147 of 322 skilled nursing homes statewide. 

Launching Feb. 1, 2019, this award is a three-year nursing home therapeutic initiative to improve clinical outcomes and quality of life through music for nursing home residents across Tennessee.

“Tennessee is the soundtrack of America and that music enriches our lives, so we are especially happy for the opportunity to award this grant for Music & Memory Tennessee and excited to work with our partners on this innovative approach to improve the lives of those living with dementia,” said Tennessee Department of Health Commissioner John Dreyzehner, MD, MPH.

The Tennessee Department of Health facilitates redistribution of collected nursing home civil monetary penalties through a Request for Application process to improve the quality of life and quality of care of nursing home residents. Learn more at–cmp–quality-improvement-program.html.

“Tennessee is a music state. There is no better place to use the healing power of music through this proven method to benefit nursing home residents across this state,” said Tennessee Arts Commission Executive Director Anne Pope. “Any nursing home interested in implementing Music & Memory Tennessee should contact us.”

Integrating personalized music into a resident’s activities has been proven to enhance engagement and socialization, heighten the resident’s ability to communicate, increase calmness and decrease agitation. These positive effects lead to reduced reliance on antipsychotic, anti-anxiety and anti-depressive medications, fewer falls and less resistance to care, greater staff efficiencies and reduced cost, and more meaningful interaction.

Jim Shulman, Executive Director of the TN Commission on Aging and Disability, said, “Music & Memory Tennessee will help preserve the dignity of residents and help reconnect them with their families, friends and caregivers.”

Delivered on iPods and other digital devices, musical favorites tap deep memories not lost to dementia and can bring participants back to life, enabling them to feel like themselves again, to converse, socialize and be present.

“We are thrilled to be a partner and to support this innovative program in Tennessee nursing homes,” said Jesse Samples, Executive Director for the Tennessee Health Care Association.

Nursing homes interested in participating in Music & Memory Tennessee should contact Kim Johnson, Director of Arts Access for the Tennessee Arts Commission at (615) 532-9797 or email More information about Music & Memory Tennesseecan be found at

About Music and Memory
MUSIC & MEMORY®is a non-profit organization that creates personalized music playlists for individuals in nursing homes and other long-term care organizations, who suffer from a wide range of cognitive and physical challenges, to find renewed meaning and connection in their lives through music-triggered memories. As of August 2017, Music & Memory has been implemented by more than 4,500 healthcare organizations in the United States and has been adopted as state policy in 22 states.