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Overcoming Disabilities by Making Music

Posted Aug 24 2008 1:49pm
Horace, Nursing Home Resident: Music is the soul of everything. It gets you so happy and it gives you such a spirit that comes from it.

ANNOUNCER: While this drum circle may lift the spirits of these nursing home residents, it's also providing therapy.

David Ramsey, DA AMCT, Music Therapist: These activities that look just basically fun are much more intricate than just having a good time, because for patients who have lost their ability to enter into conversations, they need another medium to allow them to experience those exchanges.

Concetta Tomaino, DA, MT-BC, Institute for Music and Neurological Function: If you can imagine being incredibly disabled, and then imagine being part of a group and actually doing something together and making music together, that's a very powerful experience for somebody whose life experiences have been sort of lost to the disability.

David Ramsey, DA AMCT, Music Therapist: You'll see a lot of people who can't really organize their physical movement, but when you provide a strong rhythm that's that captivating, then they cannot not do it. So they sort of transcend the physical impairment.

ANNOUNCER: Research has shown music therapy may improve movement and speech for patients with certain neurological conditions.

David Ramsey, DA AMCT, Music Therapist: It's also an exercise in reconnecting with that sense of timing, entering into timing, having command of time, and this is a very important part of rehabilitation, of having command of time.

ANNOUNCER: The patients here see benefits beyond the research.

Horace, Nursing Home Resident: It's a pleasure just get involved and to sing as you see as we do.

Walter, Nursing Home Resident: It's so nice when everybody's banging their own thing. It keeps my blood flowing. And then I'm warmed inside.

ANNOUNCER: Thanks for joining us on today's Once Daily.

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