The music therapy program at Brooks Rehabilitation utilizes neuroscience research to help patients heal. Rehabilitation goals are addressed through individualized and standardized Neurologic Music Therapy techniques. By using music, the brain can be leveraged to elicit different responses. These responses (whether it be motor, cognitive or language based) are not always observed in traditional therapies. For this reason, co-treatment between music therapy, speech, occupational and physical therapy occur often.
A common misconception is that music therapists provide entertainment or teach music. Rather, music therapists use elements of music such as rhythm, dynamics, pitch, and harmony to prompt desired non-musical responses. These elements can be used functionally to create alternative pathways or strengthen damaged ones in the brain. Rhythm can be used to optimize movement and elicit verbal expression. Harmony can be used to cue speech and direct movement. Additionally, the multisensory aspect of music provides patients with constant visual, auditory and tactile feedback within the context of an engaging task.
Examples of Music Therapy
- Walking to live rhythmic music to improve stride length and pace
- Playing exercises on harmonica to improve respiratory support
- Striking drums to improve coordination and range of motion
- Singing overlearned songs to elicit verbal expression and improve articulation
- Ringing color coded bells in a row to improve visual scanning
- Playing two instruments simultaneously to improve attention
- Using music as a mnemonic cue to improve memory
Training and Qualifications of Music Therapists at Brooks
- Bachelor’s degree in Music Therapy
- National Board Certification (MT-BC designation)
Certification/Fellowship in Neurologic Music Therapy (NMT, NMT/F)
Frequently Asked Questions
- Who is appropriate for music therapy?
Persons of varying abilities and ages are appropriate to receive music therapy services.
- What if the patient doesn’t have experience playing an instrument or singing. Can he/she still participate?
No prior experience or musical skills are required to benefit from music therapy since music is intrinsic.
- Where is music therapy offered in the Brooks System of Care?
Music therapy is offered at the following locations in the form of both individual and group sessions: Inpatient hospital, Brooks Aphasia Rehabilitation Center (BRAC), the Clubhouse, Neurologic Rehabilitation Day Treatment (NRDT), Health Care Plaza Pediatric Program, and Bartram Crossing.
- Who can I contact with more questions about the music therapy program?
Contact Danielle Porter at Danielle.Porter@brooksrehab.org