The New York Times

Music Therapy Offers an End-of-Life Grace Note

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.

NEW YORK — At 90, Beverly Herzog is writing songs for the first time.

Once a week, a music therapist helps Herzog transform her thoughts into lyrics, then sings them back to her mellifluously over the strums of her guitar. The result can be transformative. When Herzog listened during a session in December, she marveled at how magically the music reflected her views on love and life.

“I can’t believe it,” Herzog said in her room at the Hebrew Home at Riverdale in the Bronx. “So I sit with my mouth open, I do. And I’m starting to get an appreciation, not just swallowing it,” she added. “Not because it’s a song that we wrote together, but because it feels, like, complete, for all

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The New York Times

The New York Times8 min readScience
Organoids Are Not Brains. How Are They Making Brain Waves?
Clusters of living brain cells are teaching scientists about diseases like autism. With a new finding, some experts wonder if these organoids may become too much like the real thing.
The New York Times2 min read
How to Do Better Than Merely Getting Ahead
Outracing the pack is overrated. But defining enough and then stopping there? It may be the best life shift you’ve made in ages.
The New York Times8 min read
CORRECTION: 36 Hours in Santa Barbara County
On a spectacular stretch of California coastline, vineyards, gorgeous beaches, markets and Mission-style architecture beckon.