Neurologic music therapy in multidisciplinary acute stroke rehabilitation: Could it be feasible and helpful?

https://doi.org/10.1080/10749357.2020.1729585

          

           

                     

                      

                 

 
Dr Alexander Street 
Specialist Music Therapist in Neurorehabilitation: 
Telephone 07799 392838 e-mail: alexstreetuk@yahoo.com 
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Assessment & Treatment Planning

Following an initial assessment the music therapist, client, and where appropriate family and other health professionals will decide and plan the most suitable course of treatment with clear goals and time scales. All goals will then be reviewed on a regular basis, in keeping with the changing needs of the client.

Depending on each individual’s needs, programs may vary in length, for example 4-12 weeks, 6 months, a year or more. Treatment dosage is crucial where functional goals are set, often requiring daily practice. Sometimes the client may also need to follow a music therapy home program of specific exercises between sessions, which will be set up and monitored by the music therapist. The effectiveness of treatment will be enhanced by the client adhering to the program.


Music therapy is predominantly client led and involves the client and therapist creating a musical dialogue together through free improvisation or song writing, using different instruments, singing, listening, and talking. Sessions take place in a safe and uninterrupted space, and there is no need for the client to learn how to play an instrument in order to benefit. A trusting relationship can quickly develop through which positive psychological, emotional, physiological and cognitive changes can occur in the client.


Neurologic music therapy (NMT) is therapist led and utilises techniques developed through formal clinical and scientific research to address problems in areas such as: movement, speech, attention and memory, executive function and mood.

Adults and children with brain injuries and neurological conditions or disease, as well as children with conditions such as autistic spectrum disorder and cerebral palsy can particularly benefit from NMT.