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Blog: How music therapy is transforming lives

Neurological disorders can have a big impact on an individual’s life. They are known as diseases of the brain and can affect different areas depending on the effect of the accident. For example, a young girl who may have been hit by a car could be left with serious damage to the linguistic part of the brain, this is the area that deals with language and can result in the brain not responding how it should.

As a result of the damage, the communication functions become impaired and the young girl would struggle to speak and engage with those around her – which is where music therapy can help.

During pre-school children are taught nursery rhymes that encourage learning and development and pre-schoolers often enjoy songs with melodies, repeated words and a good beat.

Going back to the previous example, the therapist would tailor music to the young girl’s needs and use a familiar nursery rhyme to communicate. For example, Twinkle-Twinkle Little Star but instead changing the phrases to “can I have an orange juice.”

When it comes to music therapy the type of music or style is not as important, but choosing music with an appropriate beat is key as it would naturally encourage the young girl to communicate.

This would help the young girl to build her vocabulary through the undamaged pathways and will eventually allow her to learn new phrases again.

The child will be left with a sing-song tone to her voice, but over time the language will become embedded and the melody will disappear leaving her with a basis from which language can be built and developed.

Music therapy is a safe and universal language that is effective and responsive because individuals are surrounded by sounds and music from very early stages in their lives. As a result, our brain is able to pick up music, using it to learn and re-teach words and phrases using the undamaged parts of the brain.

It can be used to create new pathways and achieve goals that would lead the young girl to live a more fulfilled and positive life.