Music Therapy for Neurological Disorders
Neurological Music Therapy (NMT) uses music to help people with autism and other disorders. By using music to help people deal with emotional, social and physical needs, NMT works to lessen stress and pain, help express emotions and promote better communication.
NMT works by developing skills through musical response. Sessions can be held either individually or in groups. Patients take part in musical improvisation to help them express emotions they cannot vocalize. Other techniques include listening to music, songwriting, performance, lyric analysis and painting while listening to music. Patients are evaluated throughout the course of therapy, in which an interdisciplinary plan is developed to suit the needs of each specific patient.
Location and Practice
You can find music therapists in hospitals, psychiatric institutes, day care centers, nursing homes, schools and many other facilities. For people with neurological disorders, NMT allows them another avenue to explore their feelings and can have positive effects on mood and emotional states. In other cases, music therapy is used to improve cognitive function and problem-solving abilities, giving patients a better sense of control in their lives.
According to a study by Georgetown University Medical Center, NMT not only has helped with communication and social issues, but also helps long-term memory. Researchers at Georgetown believe NMT works by triggering an evolutionary response akin to the communication call of animals, much like those used today by primates. The Georgetown researchers found that the neurons in the brain react to musical stimulus in a positive way.