Fishers woman creates music program to spur memories


Kathy Woods wants everyone to remember the music of their youth.

To do so, the Fishers resident has created a program called My Music My Memories.


“It can either be for large groups where I would go to the workshop, which I call a jam session,” Woods said. “If someone wanted to do it in their home, they could get a playbook, which is the workbook, and do it by themselves. But I always suggest at least one other person because it’s really fun to share your music and memories that link to that music. If someone wants to do this in their home, I call it a mini-jam.”

Woods said she created the workbook, which poses questions to trigger memory prompts of the participants’ favorite songs. The program is targeted for those 55 and older.

“We start with childhood memories, because that is the foundation,” Woods said. “It depends on where you were born. Even in the United States, someone who is born in New Orleans is going to have a different musical experience than New York, Chicago or Indianapolis.”

Woods said teenage years are next because Woods said research by musicologists, neurologists and music therapists suggests people best remember the music from ages 12 to 24.

“That has the most impression on our brain because that’s the time when we are starting to make decisions on our own,” Woods said. “We have a lot of firsts, like a first kiss, first car, you might meet your spouse, you might get your first home, all of these have a spark that is put on your brain. A lot of times a song will bring back a memory and that’s what I am looking at.”

Woods said it’s important to write these memories down.

Woods said her mother, who played the piano and organ, was her first musical educator.

“My background is tap, ballet and jazz,” Woods said. “I taught dance and still teach. I used to have a studio years ago. I teach people 55 and older dance.”

She also teaches a fitness program called Ageless Grace to seniors.

Indianapolis Oasis, a nonprofit designed to increase the quality of life for those 50 and older, will have Woods conduct a three-week My Music My Memories workshop, starting at 10 a.m. Nov. 13 at the Noblesville Ivy Tech campus.

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