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This Month In Music Therapy: An Introduction

Posted Aug 15 2012 9:30am

On facebook, I share a lot of little quotes and observations from music therapy sessions. Things that made me laugh, things that made me cry, and things that have stunned me because I know how much work it took my client to get there.

In honor of those moments, and my amazement that I have the opportunity to share in those moments, I want to create a monthly digest of things that are heard and seen in sessions. I invite you to share them and to ask questions as well! These are the real testimonies for what I do, and I am excited to be able to share it with you!

A group of 13 older adults, all with alzheimer’s or other dementia in various stages. A little less than half the group is regularly responsive. During our Blue Suede Shoes rhythm jam, one resident gets up out of his chair with his hand drum and begins moving around the room to his peers, non-verbally encouraging them to play their instruments and vocalizing to get their attention.

If and when his peer becomes alert, he drums more enthusiastically and shakes his hips and dances towards the next person.

When handed the ukulele, a young girl stated, “I can’t play this. My hands won’t do it right”. The therapist demonstrated a chord on the ukulele for the girl and assisted in position the hands correctly. The child was able to take their fingers off the chord, put it back, strum, and repeat. After doing this two or three times, she looked up to the therapist and said,

“I want to show mama!”

A young boy who has difficulty maintaining a grasp on a mallet and hitting the drum with the ball end continued to play the drum without dropping and while maintaining the position after the therapist removed hand over hand assistance.

After drumming alone for 10 seconds, he put down his mallet and clapped.

An older gentleman who struggles with weakness on his left side was able to complete a smooth drum roll on a snare drum.

“Well I’ll be darned. I didn’t think I could do that.”

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