Old Man Responds to Music From His Era

If you haven’t seen this video, it is so worth watching. It demonstrates how music can unlock memory in people with dementia and even give them moments of function and presence. I have seen this countless times in music therapy groups but it never gets old! FYI, this is not music therapy persay, but rather a demonstration of the power of music. Check out the Ipod project here.

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Music Therapy with Veterans

This is a nice video shot at the San Francisco VA this last year during my Fellowship at MusicianCorps. It has some nice clips that illustrate music therapy in a number of ways, including:

-Veterans, many with Traumatic Brain Injury, working on sustained attention through drumming

-A man with Parkinson’s gait training to music (Rhythmic Auditory Stimulation)

-A veteran singing to increase lung capacity after being stuck in bed for a few months.

These guys were amazing to work with and taught me so much. Veterans rock!

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So What is Music Therapy, Anyway?

imagesThere have been countless times when I’ve been at a party and someone asks what I do, and then the inevitable: What is music therapy? My very broad answer is that music therapy is the use of music to achieve non-musical goals. Here are some basics that might be helpful:

-Music therapy is research-based, looking at the effects of music on movement, communication, relating to others, and cognition.

-Music therapists work with diverse populations, from premature babies in the NICU to the elderly in hospice. Therapists work in forensics, neuro or drug rehab, schools, hospitals, and much more.

-Music therapists assess clients, create goals based on strengths and needs, and  document progress.

-In order to become a music therapist, one must attend a pretty rigorous undergrad or graduate program that includes lots of music classes, psychology, music therapy studies, and fieldwork in different sites. Students intern for six months at an approved site and take a Board Certification Exam.

-There is a good article that gives examples of how music therapists apply their skills written by Ronna Kaplan, former president of the American Association of Music Therapy (AMTA), here. The AMTA website also has much more information, here.

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Welcome to my Music Therapy Blog!


Thanks for visiting! I wish I could offer you a cup of tea. But I’m hoping that there will be something in this for everyone. I am starting this blog to educate about Neurologic Music Therapy, and in doing so to keep myself apprised of the latest research and cool things that are happening in this field! I also intend to share ideas on how to use music at home to help you or your loved ones feel calmer, more connected, and have some fun.

Thanks for stopping by!

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