Study shows benefits of Neurologic Music Therapy

A pilot music therapy study results in happier moods for all acquired brain injury patients involved

Electric guitar
  The music therapy study involving adults showed that all participants said that their mood had been lifted by the end of the music therapy sessions. Additionally 90 % of acquired brain injury patients who piloted the study said they would like to attend further sessions. Over a period of 12 weeks a specialist neurologic music therapist from Chroma worked with a group of people to reach goals set by assessing the needs of each person. Chroma, providers of neurologic music therapy (NMT), art psychotherapy and dramatherapy services, carried out a pilot study at Exemplar’s Willowbeck care home, a setting for people with varying complex needs. An example of an individual’s goal and its outcome follows:
  • Goal: Extending the distance I can reach forward to touch an object (both arms) – extension of shoulder and elbow joints, moving arms and hands with control.
  • Outcome: Playing the piano or drums when they are positioned further away in front of me – shoulder and elbow joints able to extend with control, allowing hands to move forward functionally.
Various techniques were used to address both the physical and mental aims set. These techniques allowed patients to explore song writing, moving to rhythms, feeling emotion through music and creativity. Emotional and mental health issues were also identified by each person and included in their aims. The study found that the participant’s mood and the ability to achieve their goals seemed to improve with the therapy. Daniel Thomas, joint managing director of Chroma, said: “The success of this pilot scheme clearly demonstrates the difference music can bring to the quality of people’s lives, especially those with an acquired brain injury. We hope to deliver many more of these projects across the UK, not as pilot schemes, but as a permanent, necessary therapy.” The study was published in NR Times – you can read more here. You can read about the benefits of music therapy for children, including a number of children's experiences of music therapy at The Children's Trust here.
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