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Thread: Music Therapy

  1. #1
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    Default Re: Raymond Vacchino

    Dear PJK, I am thrilled to hear that your son re-acts in a positive way to music, especially the piano. For yrs. my head jerking was so severe I would get whiplash time and time again. But the moment I sat down to practice for 6 hrs., at my level it's needed, my symptoms virtually vanished. I started putting 2&2 together and realized that someone showing a keen musical talent or in the arts such as painting becomes so intensively involved in concentrating on becoming more proficient at their art form, that the brain needs to give such a high amount of concentration energy for a lengthy period, it somehow forgets about the problems it was energizing before hand. The piano is indeed the choice instrument because of the needed eye and hand co-ordination working together. The basis of musical theory is also a valuable tool in off setting tics with my students' because they have to concentrate on learning how to understand note names, drawing them, various note values, key signatures, sharps and flats, and most of all singing! Singing what they create on the page and singing their favorite songs with their teacher or parent, brings an invaluable "peace" of mind and soul and as a result helps the brain relax overall inner stress levels.

    Have you ever tried having your son lie down in a fetal position and turn on some soothing music, tapes or CD's when his tics are acute? I do it often and so do my student's and more often than not the stress and tension that can bring on problems will disperse drastically. You can buy tapes of soothing sounds like the ocean with birds singing, sounds of nature, lyrical oriental music, the oriental music in particular seems to work very effectively. I studied teaching music to pre-school children as young as 3 yrs. old for 4 yrs. in Japan and by age 7 it is amazing how well developed their sense of perception becomes, they usually have perfect pitch and can even compose their own compositions. Again, the concentration level comes into play, at a very young age they can focus on their music for hours at a time. Unfortunately, in Canada we are decades behind the Asian countries when it comes to the performing arts and music classes in our schools. More and more disorders are being discovered and our teachers' do not have the skills to deal with children in the classroom that have a disorder. MUSIC is an integral tool that I have personally seen work effectively with these childrens' disorders and if schools would only have people who know that various forms of musical training could assist them in these areas, the classroom would become a more special place to be in for those in need of special attention.

    I have released 5 CD's and even Dr. Paul Sandor through listening to me play, realizes that my musical gift is one of the best medications I could ever have on my side.

    I could talk on and on about this, but I only hope that in some small way have given you some ideas to try and add to your list of hopeful solutions. If you have any questions about music as a possible therapy I would be more than willing to share ideas with you at anytime. Just send me a note.
    Last edited by Steve; March 30, 2007 at 02:52 PM. Reason: format

  2. #2
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    Exclamation Music Therapy

    If you have any questions about music as a possible therapy I would be more than willing to share ideas with you at anytime
    Raymond, who is an accomplished musician and who happens to have Tourette has introduced us to music a a form of therapy in his very interesting introduction.

    We hope Raymond will share some of his insights on music therapy with us.

  3. #3
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    Smile Re: Music Therapy

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve View Post
    Raymond, who is an accomplished musician and who happens to have Tourette has introduced us to music a a form of therapy in his very interesting introduction.

    We hope Raymond will share some of his insights on music therapy with us.
    Philosophy for Music Therapy
    WHY MUSIC?
    Music influences human behavior by affecting the brain and subsequently other bodily structures in ways that are observable, identifiable, measurable, and predictable, thereby providing the necessary foundation for therapeutic applications.

    WHY MUSIC THERAPY?
    Music Therapy is the enhancement of human capabilities through the planned use of musical influences on brain functioning.
    Music Therapy is useful because music triggers whole brain processes and functioning which directly affect one's cognitive, emotional, and physical functions and abilities. Music enters our society and culture making it familiar and easily accessible for others. A professional musician or music therapist can select and apply appropriate music for effective treatment of those in need of an alternate approach. The treatment is often faster and more effective than treatment without music. In addition, those that are introduced to music therapy report the treatment is more enjoyable and normalizing.
    I try to incorporate the wide spectrum of music-based interventions, techniques, research, and philosophies to meet the diverse needs of varying individuals. Music therapy is used as a tool to assist in making non-musical gains in order to apply the focus of the individuals music therapy treatment directly to their desired needs, outcomes, and appropriate diagnosis and treatment setting.
    Music can be implemented to increase expressive language by using (melodic intonation therapy) or singing techniques. As well, music as a therapy can assist in
    emotional expression and healing by using imagery such as viewing paintings, wildlife, passive scenes, and/or non-verbal musical expression. These are just examples that illustrate how skills and knowledge as musicians and music therapists can benefit the individuals desired treatment outcomes and settings.
    Although medicine, education, and psychology are usually considered separate fields of treatment, in my own research I find that information from various fields, yield new and enhanced benefits for those in need of options.
    In conclusion, the underlying principal in every therapeutic interaction is: Music is a defining feature of our humanity and gives voice to our deepest and most intimate experiences. Therefore, the therapeutic directive is: Value the power of each moment and the persons within it with great awe and care.
    My added remarks on this topic may seem rather clinical, but I felt a need to share some direct research on the fascinating world of "MUSIC" and its' ability to assist the healing process in many various applications.
    I am in the middle of reading a book about how music as a therapy changed the world of one young boy with TS. I will update you with my findings as soon as I have completed it.
    REMEMBER "Once children know how to learn, nothing is going to narrow their mind and no obstacle can stand in the way of greatness."

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Music Therapy

    Seven Ways Music Influences Mood
    By Jeremy Dean

    Good music has direct access to the emotions. As such it's a fantastic tool for tweaking our moods. Saarikallio and Erkkila (2007) investigated the ways people use music to control and improve their mood by interviewing eight adolescents from Finland. The participants may be a small, very specific group, but they actually present a really useful list:

    1. Entertainment - At the most fundamental level music provides stimulation. It lifts the mood before going out, it passes the time while doing the washing up, it accompanies travelling, reading and surfing the web.
    2. Revival - Music revitalises in the morning and calms in the evening.
    3. Strong sensation - Music can provide deep, thrilling emotional experiences, particularly while performing.
    4. Diversion - Music distracts the mind from unpleasant thoughts which can easily fill the silence.
    5. Discharge - Music matching deep moods can release emotions: purging and cleansing.
    6. Mental work - Music encourages daydreaming, sliding into old memories, exploring the past.
    7. Solace - Shared emotion, shared experience, a connection to someone lost.

    These seven strategies all aim for two goals: controlling and improving mood. One of the beauties of music is it can accomplish more than one goal at a time. Uplifting music can both divert, entertain and revive. Sad, soulful music can provide solace, encourage mental work and discharge emotions. The examples are endless.

    Many of Saarikallio and Erkkila's findings chime with previous research. For example, distraction is considered one of the most effective strategies for regulating mood. Music has also been strongly connected with reflective states. These tend to allow us greater understanding of our emotions.

    One of the few negative connections Saarikallio and Erkkila consider is that sad music might promote rumination. Rumination is the constant examination of emotional state which, ironically, can lead to less clarity. On the contrary, however, Saarikallio and Erkkila found that music increased the understanding of feelings, an effect not associated with rumination.

    Saarikallio, S., & Erkkila, J. (2007). The role of music in adolescents' mood regulation. Psychology of Music, 35(1), 88.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Music Therapy

    More on Music Therapy/ I am studying Music Therapy.

    To me, that means that I bring out the creative spirit in everyone I see and teach. I find their music, the part of them that is free, the part of them that sings, the part of them that is rhythm. We all have this music. It shows itself when a song "comes into our heads," or when we tap a toe to music. When we are unable to think or speak or move or be who we once were, we still have this music. It helps us express and communicate. It helps us feel good. It moves us, often deeply, always naturally.

    The impact of music on human behavior has been discussed and documented throughout history. The significance of music in both our culture heritage and our daily lives has been affirmed through countless examples of its power. References to music's universality, magic, and myths confirm the belief that music is a potent human influence. In fact, the claims for its beauty have been so greatly magnified that music is purported to exert supernatural force. The endorsement of writers from ancient healers to Biblical authors has led to a belief that capabilities of music are mystical and incomprehensible.

    Thus, the field of music therapy falls prey to the assertion that the effects of music cannot be explained. To the contrary, much of the impact of a musical experience is observable and measurable. The constituents of a response to music may be isolated, and it is possible to establish a cause and effect relationship between music and behavior. The effects of the "art" of music are, substantiated through scientific methodology.

    What guides my work in music therapy is my own musicianship and an intuitive sense of how music affects the people I serve. They may try a new behavior, focus on a talent or ability, or find a positive force within that allows them to overcome certain limitations or problems. The process is complex. It is also based upon scientific principles, objective observation and systematic assessment of the person's needs.

    A considerable body of experimental and clinical research examines the effects of music in its many forms, including performing instrumental and vocal music, listening, composing, improvising, moving to, conducting, analyzing, or talking about, music. Those benefiting from music therapy is, likewise, varied, encompassing young and old, acutely and chronically ill, educationally, physically, socially, and emotionally challenged. The settings range from large residential treatment centers for the severely challenged and hospitals to schools, community-based programs and clinics for individuals with specific or short-term problems. As aid is sought for whatever ails people, music therapy demonstrates its ability to help an ever-increasing number of individuals. The specialized application of music as therapy will vary depending upon the setting, the therapist, and the selected technique. Even the function of music may be quite different as the music therapist encounters each new clinical problem. Common to every music therapy program is that it applies one of the many forms of music as its primary medium and is based on the needs of the individuals it serves.

    According to "A Descriptive Statistical Profile of the 1998 (American Music Therapy Association) music therapists serve the following children (in order of frequency):
    * developmentally disabled
    * behaviorally disordered
    * emotionally disturbed
    * physically disabled
    * school age population
    (may be inclusion classes or a diverse collection)
    * multiply disabled
    * speech impaired
    * autistic
    * visually impaired
    * neurologically impaired
    (children and adults)
    * hearing impaired
    * substance abuse
    (children and adults)
    * abused or sexually abused
    (children and adults)
    * early childhood
    * dual diagnosed
    (children and adults)
    * head injured
    (children and adults)

    Other populations include children with Rett Syndrome, AIDS, eating disorders, medical needs, burns, bereavement, Down's Syndrome, premature birth and neonatal needs, spinal cord injuries, Williams Syndrome, Tourette Syndrome. In some cases, non-disabled children also receive music therapy.
    NEXT ISSUE WILL BE: (Developmental Disabilities)
    Last edited by Steve; April 4, 2007 at 09:50 PM. Reason: format

  6. #6
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    Smile Music Therapy

    NEW ISSUE: DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES

    The most frequently served clinical population in children is developmental disabilities. The diagnosis refers to disorders which originate during childhood and continue indefinitely, affecting functional abilities substantially. One of these disorders is TS. TS appears in mild, moderate, severe and profound forms. Music therapy attempts to create an environment of fun and enjoyment in which those who generally associate learning with failure are able to achieve success. While learning a simple song or finger play, recipients of music therapy are simultaneously improving eye contact, attention span, direction - following, verbal imitation, memory, fine motor dexterity, and auditory discrimination. These outcomes are typical of goals established for music therapy. By pairing words with tones and sentences with melodies, therapists improve communication through speech and language.

    The music setting also offers opportunities for children with TS to learn social and motor behavior. They gain self-awareness through movement to music, and social interaction through group music therapy. Musical experimentation and stimulation nurture responsiveness to the surrounding environment in the most severe TS child.

    The music therapist's goal of "increasing responsiveness to the surrounding environment" may be observed as the child moves to sound stimulus such as a ringing bell. The therapist might look for turning the head in the direction of the sound, gazing at the bell, reaching for it, grasping it, sounding the bell, and imitating patterns of bell-ringing.

    Even at this most basic level, awareness is initiated and maintained, preparing the way for the development of more complex skills.

    The literature is replete with successful applications of music therapy techniques in recognizing the potential of developmentally disabled persons. Even in the most pervasive disorder, music therapy enhances functional abilities while simultaneously enriching creative and expressive capacities. Enabling individuals to participate in some way at their own level of competence, a music experience challenges growth through developmental stages using a success-oriented medium.

    Music has the the ad vantage of demanding attention that a visual stimulus cannot be closed voluntarily. The phenomenon, coupled with the nonthreatening nature of musical exploration and auditory stimulation, may be most applicable for the child with a pervasive disorder or delay.

    A child who has previously shunned human interaction may begin to communicate with a therapist who provides positive music experiences. Clinical improvisation is used to extensively enhance communication and expressivity as well as to develop more interactive social skills. Through music therapy, they may encounter their first close relationship with a non-family member.

    ***NEXT TOPIC*** Behavioral Disorders
    Last edited by Steve; April 4, 2007 at 09:50 PM. Reason: format

  7. #7
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    Smile Re: Music Therapy

    April 5th,2007
    BEHAVIORAL DISORDERS
    The next most frequent population treated by MUSIC therapists is children with behavioral disorders. These disorders include children with attention deficit or disruptive behavior disorders who have problems in social behavior which are extreme enough to interfere with the learning process. The behavioral disorders classification also refers to children who have conduct disorders, oppositional defiant disorders, hyperactivity, or other non-specific behavior problems. These children are often referred to MUSIC THERAPY to enhance self-awareness, self-expression, or self-esteem. Active music behavior, such as playing an instrument and singing, necessitates using the voice and body in a clearly structured manner to produce the desired musical product. The child's ability to generate socially appropriate behavior which is incompatible with inappropriate behaviors accounts for further success of MUSIC AS THERAPY (Madsen&Wolfe,1979). While engaged in positive creative efforts, a child often gains self-control and a concrete emotional outlet.
    At another level, feelings which are misunderstood or difficult to describe verbally may be experienced through the EXPRESSIVE MEDIUM OF MUSIC. Children may be referred to MUSIC THERAPY in order to assess the nature of their emotions. Asking a child to express a particular feeling by playing an instrument may seem indirect; but, it often reveals a degree of emotional arousal which can be observed and explored. Facial affect, nonverbal behavior or "body language" while performing music offer a nonthreatening starting point for understanding emotions.

    LEARNING DISORDERS
    Learning disorders comprise impairments in specific academic areas. One remediation approach is a MUSIC TEACHING MODEL which works through parallel behaviors in the learning of musical skills. For instance, a child who has difficulty coordinating movements of the body can develop this ability through moving to music, using arms and legs synchronously. Playing increasingly more complex melodies on the piano, with hands separately and then together, can develop such coordination. Visual tracking required in translating written music to the keyboard is similar to the left-to-right eye movement necessary for reading words. The ability to listen to others and respond cooperatively at a precise time with a previously learned musical part is required for participation in a musical ensemble. With the motivation to produce music, children often succeed in mastering musical skills while improving such conceptual correlates. Thus, children with learning disorders may benefit in many ways from the demands of these structured MUSICAL EXPERIENCES.
    MUSIC may also provide an opportunity for children to process an auditory stimulus and respond to it appropriately. This auditory-motor match, such as a person's answer to a spoken question, can be developed effectively through auditory discrimination training with MUSIC! At the extreme, musicians who learn to tune string instruments, recall lengthy melodies, or name the pitches of sounds they hear, show a remarkably finely-tuned set of discriminations.

    MOTOR SKILLS DISORDERS:
    Children who have motor skills disorders may be delayed in motor development or display problems in gross or fine motor coordination. They may be referred to MUSIC THERAPY because playing instruments necessitates varying degrees of motor and eye-hand coordination, as well as breath control when playing wind instruments. To dance, one must move in specified ways, integrating various parts of the body in a smooth, rhythmic fashion. Listening to music may involve self-discipline and discrimination skills while the experience evokes images, learned responses (such as clapping along), and individual creative reactions (such as free, improvisational movements).
    MUSIC THERAPISTS also assist in the rehabilitation of more severe neuromuscular and skeletal disorders of many types. One technique is to use rhythmic and musical cues for specific movements and for body relaxation.

    ***TO BE CONTINUED***

  8. #8
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    Smile Re: Music Therapy

    The STORY about a young man who had a severe car accident.
    CHRIS, at the age of 17, was a popular, good-looking athlete Chris was the jovial type and had a very caring and loving heart for others.
    APRIL 13, 1996- THE ACCIDENT: The phone call we received about the car accident was the REAL NIGHTMARE that every parent thinks about on a Saturday night when waiting for their child to get home. So when we received the call I immediately thought, "Oh no, its happened to us." "It can't be real." The steps of grieving have been very arduous for each of us to go through and we are all at different steps in the process of acceptance of this life changing experience.
    CHRIS- AFTER THE ACCIDENT: Chris had sustained a very severe traumatic brain injury, crushed left elbow and had open lacerations on his forehead and left knee. The doctors' were concerned when after several weeks later he had still not awakened from his coma. We were then told that he had a diffuse axonal injury to his brain and that there was no surgery that could be done to "fix" the axons that had been stretched and/or severed that connect the brain to the rest of the body. The brain was not able to send appropriate signals to his body. After about 30 days Chris began to barely open his eyes. Chris had to relearn how to have his eyeballs move and track people walking across the room. Eating, talking and walking didn't happen until many months after the accident. Any little thing that Chris has been able to relearn or accomplish over the last 5 years has been celebrated with joy and renewed happiness!. Chris had many therapists, doctors, counselors, etc., and their remarks have been that he is a fighter and a hard worker. His determination has helped him immensely to come as far in his recovery as he has to date.
    THE POSITVE IMPACT OF MUSIC THERAPY
    It was decided this year that we wanted to try music therapy as an alternative way to help his speech, gait, tremor and behavioral problems. After being in traditional therapy for 5 years, the MUSIC THERAPY has been a "breath of fresh air" for Chris. He looks forward to each therapy session and seems to be making some remarkable changes in his speech, gait and behavior. Hope Young who is the founder of the Center for Music Therapy in Austin, Texas just reverberates with a passion and enthusiasm for what music therapy can do for people of all ages. She and Amy Thompson who both work with Chris are abounding with energy, interest and expertise in helping our son with his problems. They are professionals who understand the impact of the injury to his brain and are using music as a re- entrainment for the brain to learn new ways of dealing with these disabilities. The music therapy sessions are helping to make his voice stronger and louder as they sing songs and do breath support exercises with MUSIC. His walking has become more rhythmic and faster as he practices walking to the rhythm of the music. His undesirable behavior has also been able to be addressed through the music therapy sessions. Music seems to connect him with the therapist in ways that traditional therapy has not been able to reach him emotionally. We are very pleased with the work that the MUSIC THERAPISTS have done for our son CHRIS!
    Our frustration is that the health insurance companies seem to be more interested in "saving" insurance money than spending it on a MUSIC THERAPIST who is really helping to make significant changes in his quality of life.
    Realistically, it seems they would be more interested in what the outcome of the therapy provides to the individual rather than the title of the therapist who helps to provide the desired outcome!

  9. #9
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    Smile Re: Music Therapy

    MUSIC THERAPY April 17/07
    I recently attended a concert with a friend. We had gone to hear the Toronto Symphony and had not checked the program in advance. My week of teaching had been a challenging one and was looking forward to a relaxing time and distraction. When I looked at the program I saw that the soloist was going to play a work by Stravinsky. It was a piece I enjoyed but was never able to master many of the technical passages when trying to learn it. My experiences with this music were paramount and they took me back to the days of disappointment and despair.
    I remembered that during that week, I had given one of my stress reducing lessons to a child in which I played music without asking whether any of the music held particular meaning. I had not taken the time to assess their experiences with this music. I, of all people, knew the power that music holds! Failing to assess its potential impact before innocently playing it could have created a devestating memory for him. It was my intention to provide relaxation at this time, and fortunately, no negative experience was caused, to my knowledge.
    My lesson was made clear, I was not to take the music for granted again. I was not to teach a lesson without performing assessment first!
    Assessment is a systematic approach to understanding a person's strengths and weaknesses. Observational strategies may be devised to test the quantity and quality of target behaviors as well as related skills and competencies.
    NEXT TOPIC (A GENERAL ASSESSMENT OF FUNCTIONING)

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