Sunday, August 7, 2011
Uses of Music Therapy
Interesting article from Huffington Post by Music Therapist on the uses of music therapy by the head of Music Therapy Association:
Image by Andy Martini via FlickrGene Behrens (USA) used neurobiological research to inform her music therapy work in the same region, with children traumatized by ongoing conflicts in Bethlehem in the West Bank of occupied Palestinian territory. Significant changes from pre- to post-tests were found in children's emotional skills, such as matching words (happy, mad, proud, sad, scared) to pictures.
With so many natural disasters occurring around the world, music therapy for crisis intervention has become commonplace. Music therapists have risen to assist their peers across the globe in their greatest times of need. Tiao (China) described her work in a transitional resettlement in the earthquake zone in Sichuan, China in 2008, applying a model of "stabilization-oriented music therapy," based on supportive and activity-oriented music therapy.1 The psychological state of Qiang and Tibetan survivors, who grew up in a culture filled with music and dance, became much more stable after participating in music therapy, and instances of interpersonal conflicts among survivors at the resettlement decreased.
Image by midiman via FlickrTomaino (USA) discussed music and memory in a much different context, that of rehabilitation. Music therapists use "procedural memory" for priming, allowing predictable lyrics to aid in word retrieval to assist in speech rehabilitation. "Musical mnemonics" are achieved when the structure and pattern of music provides a cue for information, such as phone numbers, names, addresses and specific phrases, to be stored and retrieved. For example, one of my clients learned his phone number by singing the digits to the tune of "Jingle Bells." We then faded out the singing and he generalized his learning to speaking the phone number in rhythm.
According to Kuribayashi (Japan), " ... although many different types of music therapy experiences exist in the world, each experience should have three basic elements" -- music, the therapist's healing skills and a theoretical foundation. Not surprisingly, at a gathering such as this one, attendees were exposed to a variety of philosophies, approaches and theoretical foundations. In music therapy and special education, Threlfall (Australia) shared her application of "ArtStories" core principles to support the process of change in a school community: A). connecting people, ideas and purpose, B). sharing stories of people, place and practice, C). exploring past, present and future possibilities and D). being inventive and open to learning from the unexpected.5
Turry (USA) reported positive effects of "Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy," an approach involving interactive, improvisational music-making, on the communication and social interaction skills of preschool children with autism spectrum disorders. Furman and Kaplan (USA) demonstrated the use of an "Orff Music Therapy" approach to develop reciprocal language for individuals with autism.
I am talking to Nordoff-Robins regarding Music Therapy. Will let you know about it later this fall.
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