Music Therapy for Adults
Neurologic music therapy is an evidence-based treatment approach that implements music and rhythmic interventions to promote recovery and neuroplasticity. Standardized musical interventions are used to access three domains, which include sensorimotor rehabilitation, speech and language rehabilitation, and cognitive rehabilitation.
In the last decade, a significant number of research indicating the efficacy of neurologic music therapy has come forward, specifically the profound effect of auditory rhythm on the motor system. The auditory system is able to identify and perceive a rhythmic stimuli and project the temporal information into the motor systems, creating an entrainment between the auditory stimulus and motor response. A rhythmic stimuli is then incorporated into standardized techniques, which has demonstrated success and producing functional changes, such as, improving gait abilities, balance, and strength for individuals recovering from stroke, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and other degenerative diseases.
Speech and Language Rehabilitation
Furthermore, musical interventions are designed to improve speech function post-stroke or brain injury. Through familiar melodies, intonation of speech, and wind instrument playing, patients’ recovery post-injury can be fast-tracked. Incorporating musical intervention in speech rehabilitation is beneficial because it is one of the few modes of recovery that activates the whole brain simultaneously, thus promoting neuroplasticity and improving functional speech and language, speech rate, fluency, breath support, and respiratory strength.
Finally, neurologic music therapy seeks to improve cognitive ability and provide psychosocial support to those experiencing a brain injury. Standardized musical interventions are useful for individuals who may have responsive behaviours, delays related to information processing and attention, memory issues, and/or difficulty with executive functioning and decision-making skills, related to a brain injury. Through such interventions, functional changes such as, increased attention span, ability to dual task, working and long-term memory, neglected visual field, and perception of self, has been observed.
Adapted Music Lessons
Adapted music lessons is exactly what the name suggests – a music lesson where modifications are needed to best suit the client’s special needs. Guitar, basic keyboarding, and early childhood music lessons are available. Lessons will be individualized to client needs and client/family goals.
Music psychotherapy uses musical interactions as a means of nonverbal communication and expression. The aim of therapy is to help individuals develop relationships and address issues that they may find difficulty expressing with words. Music therapy interventions, such as song writing or improvisation, can be used to: explore feelings and self-esteem, positively change emotional states, enhance awareness of self, and develop coping and relaxation skills.