Physiological effects of a technology-based music-making program in skilled nursing residents


  • Brigid Lyons, BS, CTRS
  • Rhonda Nelson, PhD, CTRS
  • Pei-Chun Hsieh, PhD, CTRS



Beamz, geriatrics, music, older adults, physical activity, relaxation, skilled nursing, technology, therapeutic recreation


This study evaluated the effectiveness of a technology-based music-making intervention (the Beamz) in elevating heart rate and producing a relaxation response in skilled nursing home residents. Using a quasi-experimental counterbalanced design, results indicated that this brief intervention produced a statistically significant elevation in heart rate and systolic blood pressure when played at a fast tempo. Heart rate was also significantly elevated when slow tempo music was used. In addition, participants reported a statistically lower level of relaxation following the slow tempo session and expressed that they found this new activity intervention enjoyable. Implications of findings and future research possibilities using technology-based music-making interventions in recreation therapy practice are discussed.

Author Biographies

Brigid Lyons, BS, CTRS

Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Rhonda Nelson, PhD, CTRS

Associate Professor, Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Pei-Chun Hsieh, PhD, CTRS

Assistant Professor, Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.


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How to Cite

Lyons, BS, CTRS, B., Nelson, PhD, CTRS, R., & Hsieh, PhD, CTRS, P.-C. (2013). Physiological effects of a technology-based music-making program in skilled nursing residents. American Journal of Recreation Therapy, 12(3), 25–33.