5…No! 6 Bits of Mish-Mash and Nuggets

by Kimberly on February 23, 2010 · 0 comments

Today’s article is a bit of a mish-mash of different topics. I tried to find a common thread between them…but no luck. And I didn’t want to focus on one particular area because I thought you’d be interested in all of them! (You are, aren’t you?)

So here are 5 bits of mish-mash and nuggets, in no particular order:

1) Music Therapy Helps Toddlers with Cochlear Implants

This article appeared awhile ago, but it’s worth sharing again! Last month, Israeli researchers reported that music therapy could help toddlers with cochlear implants learn how to talk. The rehabilitation progress for these children is typically slow, but music helps to teach them nonverbal communication and increase their spontaneous communication. To read more, click here.

2) Readers Comment on the 80-20 Rule

Last Thursday, I asked you if you knew the 80-20 rule..and many did! I had only heard about it from a business and time management perspective, but it turns out this rule is applicable in many situations:

  • Ginny uses it when providing feedback to music therapy students–80% of it’s positive and 20% constructive.
  • Aria learned about it in her food services class–20% of her customers will contribute to 80% of her sales, so her marketing should be geared dtowards that 20%.
  • Brian pointed out that 80-20 is roughly the female-male ratio in the music therapy profession (although Valerie wondered whether it was closer to 99-1!).

3) Neuroscientist: Cutting Music Education Is a Mistake

I love this story. Over the weekend, a neuroscientist from Northwestern University argued that music training has a profound impact on child development and should be a vital component of every K-12 school program.

Dr. Nina Kraus cited her own (and other’s) research supporting that music education can help typically-developing and children with disabilities more accurately encode speech. In other words, music training helps children with and without disabilities to understand and process the words and sounds they hear. To read the entire article, click here.

If you read the Music Therapy Maven, you probably agree with Dr. Kraus already. But isn’t it nice to have that support?

4) Music Therapy Helps Stroke Victims

Many of you have seen this already. If you’re a fan of Neurosong on Facebook, you’ve seen it. If you’re on the music therapy listserv, you’ve seen it. Or if your mother saw it, thought of you, and sent it to you, you’ve seen it (Mine did. Thanks, Mom!)

The article espouses the benefits of a specific intervention called Melodic Intonation Therapy (or MIT) that helps people with expressive aphasia re-learn how to talk again. (Expressive aphasia means a person struggles to express language, or use words and sentences).

The reason MIT works is that singing uses both common and unique neural pathways as speaking. Therefore, if a patient can’t talk, we use singing to teach functional words and phrases. Through singing, we are re-wiring their brain to re-learn how to talk.

The technique was developed by a speech therapist in the 1970s (in an article by Sparks and Decks, I believe) and is also taught if you take the Neurologic Music Therapy (NMT) Training Institute.

You should also know that, even though the only person quoted in the article is a neurology professor, a board-certified music therapist trained in NMT provided the MIT treatments.

To read the article, click here.

5) Watch Music Therapy in Action

I recently heard Janice Harris interview Andrew Knight, a music therapy professor at the University of North Dakota, on her radio program. Since Andrew is a friend of mine, I went to check out the UND music therapy site…and was blown away!

The coolest part, I thought, was the “Multimedia” section on the left-hand sidebar. Not only does Andrew have videos and podcasts about the UND music therapy program, he has compiled 14 different videos that all show music therapy in action. Watch them all here.

(And for a bit of shameless self-promotion–the last video is of one of my clinicians, Aileen Ravalo Voyles, and our current intern, Lindsay Marsh, working with one of our clients:D)

P.S. I did a little work on my blog over the weekend, mostly on the right-hand sidebar. What do you think? Is it easy to navigate and use? If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions about this or any topic related to music therapy, please contact me.


6) Video Interview with Dr. Barbara Reuer and Dr. Patel

Here’s a wonderful interview with Dr. Reuer, a music therapist in San Diego (and my former internship supervisor!), and Dr. Patel, world-renowned music neuroscientist. They talk about music, it’s effect on the brain, and how it can be applied clinically. It’s long (30 min.) and wonderful. Enjoy!


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