Daniel Maruyama sits in the center of a circle of residents, tapping his feet, playing his guitar and singing. Maruyama, and nearly 20 residents at The Hampton at Salmon Creek, a memory care facility in Vancouver, are just getting warmed up during their weekly Wednesday music therapy session. The 32-year-old Maruyama plays “Take Me Out to the Ballgame,” “This Little Light of Mine,” and a handful of other classics before tambourines and shakers are passed out about 20 minutes into the hourlong session earlier this month.“You ready, Roger?” Maruyama cheerily asks one of the residents. The residents shake and tap their instruments as Maruyama plays “When the Saints Go Marching In” and “You Ain’t Nothing but a Hound Dog.” The session is fairly simple, but its benefits are helpful. There’s a growing body of research that shows performing and practicing music can help contain the effects of aging and diseases of the brain. Learning new music can strengthen connections in the brain and improve myelin, a covering around the nerve cells in brains, research shows. That can help conduct nerve impulses at higher speeds, and enhance communications between different areas in the brain.