What is Neurologic Music Therapy?

As defined by the Training Manual for Neurologic Music Therapy (1999), Neurologic Music Therapy is the therapeutic application of music to cognitive, sensory and motor dysfunctions due to neurologic disease of the human nervous system. Neurologic Music Therapy is based on a neuroscience model of music perception and production and the influence of music on functional changes in nonmusical brain and behavior functions. Treatment techniques in Neurologic Music Therapy are based on scientific research and are directed towards functional therapeutic goals.

Neurologic Music Therapy (NMT) is one of several approaches to how music can be utilized therapeutically within the general field of Music Therapy and is the approach ascribed to here at DBC3 Music Therapy.  One of NMT’s distinct features is its focus on how music can be used to influence nonmusical behaviors, such as using singing to assist someone with speech deficits.  This pushes the notion of generalization to the forefront of treatment such that your DBC3 music therapist will develop his/her treatment plan around your functional need, whether it’s improved mobility, balance, grasping, speech, memory, etc., and gear your experiences towards improving your level of functioning in these areas.  While addressing nonmusical functional goals is not unique to NMT, the clinical model followed by Music Therapists trained in NMT first identifies how one would address the functional goal in a nonmusical way followed by the clinical application of the musical intervention, allowing for a smoother transition, or generalization, from musical intervention to improved function.

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