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The Radio and You: What You Had to Say

In my last post, I shared an interview with former DJ Christine Pawlak, who was lamenting the loss of local rock radio stations, including her former station, Q101 in Chicago. The internet and the advent of the digital age have revolutionized the way that many people listen to music. In fact, I’m one of those people that doesn’t listen to the radio much anymore. I was curious, though, how other people find new music and listen to the music they love – whether people really have abandoned the radio or whether they’ve just added other resources to their toolboxes.

I heard back from music therapists, caregivers, and regular ol’ music lovers online and off. Here’s what I heard:

Those of you who answered my question here on the blog or on Twitter are definitely the web-savvy. You are mostly listening to the radio less often than you used to. You don’t rely on the radio to bring you new music. You have other sources for finding new music to love or accessing the music you want to hear at any given time. And you don’t seem to miss the local connections of the radio in the way that was discussed in that interview I mentioned in my last post. Still, many of you do listen to the radio for news and talk, or simply for the convenience of having the radio in your car.

Lots of people aren’t as web-savvy as you are, though, and for them the radio is more important. Besides soliciting feedback online, I also talked with many of my clients – residents in long-term care and senior housing as well as people in their own homes – and they seem to be using the radio a lot, for music, news, and, well, company. They’ve been sticking with the tools they’ve had for decades, but that doesn’t mean they can’t handle trying something new given the opportunity.

Certainly, nothing beats the radio for cheap access to music, local news and talk, so it’s necessary for us caregivers to keep the radio in mind as one of the tools we have to serve those we care for. At the same time, even people who are not technologically-inclined may be able to access the music they love through means other than the radio, perhaps finding more great music while contending with fewer commercials.

I heard so many great ideas that I’m going to split them up over the next three posts. Here’s what you can look forward to:

Turn On the Radio – What to do and what not to do with the radio in caregiving

Turn Off the Radio – Accessing music in the digital world

iPods vs. Music Therapy – Thoughts on a new trend to provide iPods with individualized playlists to people in long-term care

In the meantime, I’d love to keep hearing YOUR ideas for accessing music. What are you observing from your clients, residents, or loved ones? Join the conversation below!

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