Saturday, September 22, 2012

First Music Therapy Session

 Had my First Music Therapy Session at the Nordoff with a Korean therapist named Hyun.

First off, I got lost and disoriented around Washington Square and got my lefts and rights mixed up with the Easts and Wests of the square.  Apparently, this happens enough and the receptionist very kindly stayed on the line until I was in front of the building.

I had thought my directional sense had improved as I wasn't having problems around the burbs.  But, apparently it is not as solid as I think.  Oh well.

Hyun had me choose three instruments and I picked out the wind chimes, wood blocks and the bongo drum.  We played together a bit with her accompanying me on the piano. She was emphasizing rhythm in a marching tune so I played along.  She also switched into a more lyrical piece. 

I was having problems making some of the musical transitions as we were switching the lead on and off.  I wanted to go somewhere else with the music but I didn't have the ability musically to make a smooth transition to another topic.  So I plodded along at some rather monotonous rhythms when I really wanted to do something else.

One problem is that I have never really done too much improvisational music.  Whenever I played music I was always performing off a score so I never really knew how to start moving off the beat.   Also I wanted to do more with the chimes but I kept hitting more than one chime.

We talked a bit after playing and I told her I didn't think I had the vocabulary to say what I wanted to say.  Also, we stayed a bit more in the classical genre. 

I am going to listen to more rhythmic music and see where things go.  Does anyone have any ideas about good music or themes to explore?

Copyright © 2010-2012 Traveller     Journey Through The Cortex
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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Starting Music Therapy

Starting Music therapy over at the Nordoff Robbins Center at New York University.

 Just went in for an evaluation over at Nordoff-Robbins.  After getting a copy of my records copied, the therapist took a history of my neurological conditions and asked me about some psychological factors and then we began to play together.

At first, we worked with rhythmic instruments.  My therapist played on the piano and  I could pick from the drums, xylophone and the cymbal.   Can't believe it, but I actually could keep time with the music!  All that  work with the Interactive Metronome actually paid off!  I kind of just plunked along as I wasn't sure how to integrate rhythm into things.  Boring.  But I did keep the beat.  I was pondering about how to respond to the beat... but my knowledge of rhythmic improv is rather limited and there was a lot to keep track of. 

Then we both moved to the piano, an instrument that I have had a little bit of training.  So when the therapist played I could react to her playing much better.    I felt a lot freer than playing with the rhythmic instruments.  We were playing along to a pentatonic scale (just the black keys on the piano) so we would harmonize well.   I played something sort of like Debussy.... dreamy and slow.

The therapist thanked me for playing and we scheduled another session.  Will keep you posted.

Copyright © 2010-2012   Traveller   Journey Through The Cortex
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Monday, September 17, 2012

Finished Cellfield Round 2

Just to catch my Gentle Readers up on the end of Cellfield.

I finished Cellfield Round 2 (the A+) level with some mixed feelings. 

1.  I am glad it didn't knock my socks off the way that Round 1 did.  In part, this is because I stayed in a hotel close by my therapist rather than doing a 100 mile round trip.  So I definitely had a lot more stamina.

2.  I think that Revital Vision for Amblyopia definitely helped.  I didn't have the trouble distinguishing low contrast words on a background that I had during level 1.  I missed a number of the exercises in Level 1  just because I literally couldn't see the words on the computer screen.  According to Maude over at A Total Approach, a lot of adults have this problem. 

3.  My 3D vision did improve somewhat but not the big jump I was expecting.  But I am wondering if getting involved with the move to a new home got me distracted from noticing what was going on in the real world. 

4.  Doing biofeedback (using the EmWave) and playing Journey To the Wild Divine, a biofeedback game seemed to help.  Now that I am moved into my new I can go back to biofeedback.  There is something about "Relax...Breathe..." that gets my eyes to converge and my vision to double. 

I do notice space flitting in and out. If I stop and focus and breathe, I can get more depth perception.   But, I didn't get the big jump that I got from the first round of Cellfield.  Maybe this needs time.

Copyright © 2010-2012 Traveller Journey Through The Cortex
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Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Secret of Neuromarketing: Go for the Pain

English: MRI coronal view of the amygdala
English: MRI coronal view of the amygdala (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
We all like to think we make buying decisions on a rational level, but neuroscientists tell us otherwise. While marketers have known this instinctively, brain mappers have shown that the smallest part of the brain, the amygdala, lights up like a Christmas tree when confronted with fight-or-flight or in this case buy-or-fly situations.
Recently, I visited with Christophe Morin, a French researcher with SalesBrain, which is based in San Francisco and claims to be the world’s first neuromarketing agency. His title is chief pain officer. He believes that if a company wants someone to buy its products or services, it must seduce the reptilian brain — the part that controls fear and other emotions.
“Pain” is in his title because his company’s approach is to help marketers look at the frustrations and challenges consumers experience. “Humans are pain-avoiding machines,” Mr. Morin said. “Sometimes our pain points are conscious and sometimes unconscious.”

He offered six simple rules that small businesses can follow:  More at:
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Saturday, September 15, 2012

There’s a special app for that: Apps for Learning Disabilities

Here's a nice compendium of apps for special needs. Creative apps for digital storytellingbehavior management and intervention development of autonomy and independence support literacy instruction Using Augmentative Communication Apps To Support Different Languages Mind Mapping Apps Apps for Elementary Students with Non-Verbal Learning Disabilities, Apps that develop fine motor skills, Apps to develop social skills for students with special needs to improve organizational skills for students with learning disabilities
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Moving Into New Place Helped By Therapy

 Sorry 'Bout Not Blogging but I have been moving into a new home.

This move has been sooo much easier than other moves because of a few changes I have made:
  1. Working with an Organizer.  As my Gentle Readers know, I have been sorting stuff for the past six months.  With the Organizer's help, we have only moved what we needed to move for the most part.   Because everything got nicely packed by drawer and every box was sorted by room and labeled, I did not have the mass confusion that moving usually entails.
     2.  Vision Therapy.  Processing crowded visual fields has gotten much easier!!!  Very useful in a disorganized, crowded house.  Also,  doing tangrams has helped me figure out how to get stuff into boxes.    I am also better able to eyeball things and figure out if they will fit into a container or a new box.

     3.  Better Balance helps as I am able to crawl up into the attic without being afraid of heights.
Copyright © 2010-2012 Traveller    Journey Through The Cortex
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