Author Archives: jenthegiant

About jenthegiant

I'm a music therapist (Licensed Creative Arts Therapist #593-01) of over 20 years. I'm divide my time between being a music therapist at the Hebrew Home in Yonkers and in private practice in Manhattan. I am equally good at treating children and adults, applying music to improve motor, social, cognitive, and communication skills. I am a Neurologic Music Therapy Fellow and have been researching the effect of drumming with patients with Parkinson's disease and survivors of stroke. I am passionate about using music to address the whole person, coming from a strength-based and humanistic approach to help clients achieve their goals through joy and fun.

Ideas to Help Your Loved One with Dementia

The other day a good friend called to talk about her mom, Anna, who moved in with her five years ago after a dementia diagnosis. My friend was concerned that her mother was depressed. Anna was an independent single mom … Continue reading

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Music Therapy for Parkinson's disease

Here’s a great article on how music therapy can help with Parkinson’s disease, compiled from Connie Tomaino’s 2018 presentation for the Parkinson’s Foundation. She worked for many years with Oliver Sacks and is a great resource.

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Can Emotional Intelligence be Taught Through Music?

I just wrote a new article on the use of music to teach emotional intelligence. We know that EQ is a tough thing to teach, and some people think you either have it or you don’t. It’s difficult to teach … Continue reading

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Singing can Help Swallowing Function for People with Parkinson’s Disease

Short but sweet article talking about the effects of music therapy and singing on maintaining or even improving swallowing function for people who have Parkinson’s. The possibilities are exciting: improved quality of life and possibly even increased life expectancy!

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Now in New York City and accepting clients!

I am pleased to announce that I moved to Manhattan a few months ago and have a few openings for new clients! Because my time is limited, I am focusing on working with the populations I am most passionate about serving, … Continue reading

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Drumming Study Video #2

This is an example from a drumming video I made for a pilot study for people with Parkinson’s disease, working on motor skills and quality of life. Participants reported enjoying the video and one liked doing it with her eyes … Continue reading

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On Meeting Someone Musically

Originally, my aim in music therapy was not so much altruistic as to experience engaging musically in a safe space with another person. I was petrified of my peers hearing me play, due less to my lack of musicianship as … Continue reading

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Alzheimer’s & the Power of Music

Dr. Oliver Sacks is a neurologist with a talent for telling fascinating stories about his patients. In this video, he talks about the phenomena in which patients with Alzheimer’s are able to function almost normally when triggered by familiar songs … Continue reading

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Painting Music

A painter paints pictures on canvas.  But musicians paint their pictures on silence. ~Leopold Stokowski

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Dancing Cockatoos and a Possible Link to Speech

This video is hilarious and also fascinating. We once thought that humans are the only animals to “lock in” (entrain) in order to dance to a beat. However, Snowball the cockatoo has proven us wrong. In research by neuroscientist Aniruddh … Continue reading

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