April 21, 2020
Music allows information to bypass areas of the brain that have lost their ability to communicate. And as the music is removed, these new and improved functions remain, continuing to use the new route in the brain that was made possible by the music. The brain can change, learn new things, and re-route information at any point in life. Whether a brain has received a Parkinson’s diagnosis or is simply experiencing the normal aging process, music organizes the information the brain needs to activate in the body.
Joining us today from warm, sunny Florida, is Marion Haase, a Board Certified Music Therapist with 14 years of clinical experience. Most of that has included work specific to Parkinson’s Disease. Marion is founder and president of Creative LEAPS, Inc., a Florida non-profit that provides therapeutic art programs to the community. Marion co-authored a research article published in Human Movement Science (2019) on rhythmic cuing as a therapeutic tool for Parkinson’s disease treatment.
- Music allows information to bypass areas of the brain that have lost their ability to communicate. And as the music is removed, those functions and abilities remain, continuing to use the new route in the brain that was made possible by the music.
- The brain can change, learn new things, re-route information at any point in your life.
- Music provides structure for movement; music organizes the information the brain needs to put out in the body.
- Music therapy is useful in both the maintenance and rehabilitation of various functions in Parkinson’s disease: oral motor, speech, language, respiratory, sensorimotor, cognitive, psychological and social.
- Although we are talking specifically about Parkinson’s today, these symptoms – stiffness or slowing of movement – are no respecters of persons; there are plenty of us who don’t have a Parkinson’s diagnosis and may experience some of these symptoms, whether just as part of the normal aging process, or for some other reason.
- You DO NOT have to be a musician to benefit from music therapy.
- Creative LEAPS’ programming is free to the public.
To understand how we naturally synchronize to a beat (we call this “entrainment,” which is the key component of one of our Music Therapy techniques for gait therapy): The next time you are on a treadmill or out for a walk, put your earbuds in and choose a song that is way slower than your pace, then change it to one that closely matches your pace, and then one that is much faster than your pace. What do you think will happen to your walking during each song?
- Marion co-authored a research article published in Human Movement Science on rhythmic cuing as a therapeutic tool for Parkinson’s disease treatment.
Music therapy for Parkinson’s Disease involves far more than sensorimotor training. As music therapists we are able to address many areas of need, including psychological needs. I have guided groups of participants with Parkinson’s Disease through the process of therapeutic songwriting.
Marion shares the song: “When the Words Fail, We’ll Just Sing!” that she and her team at creative LEAPS, Inc., made. Click for more information on the story behind the song; and the song’s lyrics and performers.