Music Therapy In Action

"I heard about Music Therapy when I was attending a conference.  Wondering if this form of therapy might be beneficial for my ward, I contacted a local Music Therapist and requested an evaluation.  At the time of the evaluation, my ward had become increasingly detached from life.  She demonstrated difficulty with communication, social interactions, and animation, presenting with a markedly decreased quality-of-life.   During the evaluation period, she demonstrated positive signs of response to the treatment.  Once treatment commenced, something wonderful happened, my ward began to interact and participate.  During treatment we have seen an increase in my ward's cognitive function, speech and language skills and motor abilities.  Prior to therapy, she rarely left her home, today; she is beginning to participate in life again.  She becomes animated at the mention of her Music Therapy sessions, is fully participating in her treatment, singing phrases, picking songs, playing instruments, sharing memories and chair-dancing with her therapist.  In addition, she is also starting to enjoy community outings and swimming at the local YMCA.  Music Therapy is the avenue to allowing my ward to actively address her need areas, interact and socialize with others and fully engage in and enjoy her life.”

-Rex Hawkins, AZ Licensed Fiduciary

“For those suffering from dementia disorders, the benefits of Music Therapy can be life-changing. I am not a doctor, but I am a caregiver who takes care of people who have been diagnosed with dementia disorders and I have seen the change in people who were involved in Music Therapy. It’s a fun thing for them too. I care for a man of 87 years who has been diagnosed with dementia. He receives Music Therapy three times a week with a Board-Certified Music Therapist, for about an hour on each day. His Music Therapist comes to see him in his home. This man had his doctor’s appointment and the doctor was so impressed with him. He couldn’t believe the change and he couldn’t stop talking about it. I do hope sharing this with people will give them hope that there is help through Music Therapy for their family.”

-Mary Ryan, Caregiver

"When I first became involved in my ward’s case, all she would really do was sit, staring off into space. She was also nearly non-verbal. Having heard that Music Therapy could positively impact a person, I requested that she begin receiving Music Therapy services. During the past several years, my ward has demonstrated exciting improvements in her quality-of-life. As treatment progressed, she began to verbalize and even began to respond in coherent short sentences. She was often noted singing song lyrics in session, playing percussion instruments, wheel chair dancing with her therapist and even strumming the guitar. She began to acknowledge people when they approached her and would make eye contact. We were even able to decrease her dosage of medication and place it on an as-needed basis. After a few months of therapy, the client’s daughter called in tears of joy because her mother spoke to her and made eye contact for the first time in years. Those are invaluable results.”

-Dawn Walters, LF, NCG

My elderly client suffers from dementia and Alzheimer’s. Her mood shifts constantly through the day. Her deteriorating memory and mental state foster feelings of insecurity and fear resulting in “aggressive” behavior towards her caregivers. I’ve noticed that following a music therapy session with Teri, her aggressive behavior dissipates. My client becomes more trusting and relaxed. She maintains a more pleasant disposition for the remainder of the day. Music Therapy has definitely enhanced my client’s quality of life. For that, we are grateful.

-Marsha Majoos, Caregiver

Our Music Therapy program launched in February 2008 and since the beginning the residents at our center look forward to each weekly session and the program continues to flourish. Our program targets residents with memory impairments and our music therapist encourages residents to open up and participate actively, in their own time. The program focuses on individual needs as well as the needs of the group. Our Music Therapist tailors the program to fit the participants needs and adapts it as needed to meet each resident’s needs and preferences. The residents look forward to their session and often remember our therapist as the “music lady”. She uses many interventions with the memory group, for example, reminiscence is use to encourage active participation. When combined with music, reminiscing seems to come naturally to many of our residents. I have seen some residents that are regularly non-verbal begin to verbally reminisce and connect life events to music. The positive interaction during Music Therapy stays with the residents throughout the day providing a decreased in agitation. The quality of life for these residents has been increased thanks to our Music Therapy program.

-Kari Curry, La Loma Enrichment Director