Expressive Therapies Department at Hebrew Rehabilitation Center

Music Therapy

Music influences human behavior on a non-verbal level by directly affecting the brain.  It affects one’s cognition, emotions, memories, relationships, communication, mobilization, expression, organization and subsequently other bodily functions in ways that are observable, identifiable, measurable, and predictable, thereby providing the necessary foundation for therapeutic changes. 

How Does It Work? 
The music therapist uses music and its elements (rhythm, melody, harmony and timbre) to communicate certain energy or feelings to group members or an individual. Some of the music therapy techniques include:

  • Singing/chanting
  • Song writing
  • Lyric analysis                                                  
  • Instrument playing
  • Improvisation
  • Rhythmic movement
  • Listening to music
  • Relaxation techniques and guided imagery

Music Therapy for Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias

  • Music may be a useful for Alzheimer patients in prompting optimal cognitive functioning.
  • Increase in orientation, attention, and language.  Movement to music helps reinforce spatial concepts such as left-right and up-down.
  • Music, especially familiar songs, unlocks memories. Participation in music improves communication and overcomes withdrawal.

Neurologic Music Therapy 

  • Music acts as a specific stimulus to obtain motor and emotional responses by combining movement and stimulation of different sensory pathways. We offer active music therapy to improve motor and emotional functions in patients with PD.
  • Music Therapy is used to augment traditional Speech Rehabilitation.

Some people are surprised to learn that they can sing familiar songs after a stroke, even when they are unable to produce fluid speech.  This is because speech and singing use different areas of the brain to complete their tasks. Rhythm can aid in vocal production by organizing mechanisms involved in speech.  Music Therapy takes advantage of this phenomenon and allows people to reconnect with their voices, exercise vocal mechanisms and use alternate methods of communication.

Some people who have not been able to talk for five years or more are slowly learning to sing; to communicate, and finally talk to others in music therapy.  Musically assisted speech is used to treat non-fluent aphasia, one of the most common speech disorders following stroke.

Behavioral Music Therapy
Music can redirect behavior non-verbally. Regardless of their cognitive status, many residents are able to function in a social context.  For some, this may be a highlight of their week when they can successfully interact with others.

Supportive Music Therapy
The sessions have a major goal of supporting participants’ sense of wellbeing by allowing them to express themselves and connect to others in meaningful ways.

  • It employs a combination of insight and process oriented music therapy techniques. 
  • Verbalizations of feelings, personal life experiences, memories, roles/identities, preferences are explored. 
  • Songs, poems and active music making are chosen to elicit memories.
  • Each session usually focuses on a specific theme (achievements, childhood, friendships and connections, wellness.

Therapeutic drumming

  • Drumming is a form of stress reduction
  • Drumming is an ancient approach to healing
  • Drumming is accessible
  • Drumming reduces tension and anxiety
  • Drumming is expressive, communicative and bonding
  • Drumming is physical. Dynamic and tempo changes to increase alertness and orientation
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