Music making

Gloucestershire support group

Eric.Drums

10 weeks of group music therapy sessions finished in April.

During this time we sang together and we explored and played instruments that some had never seen before.

We talked about our own musical experiences, remembering songs from the past, and most of all we laughed together.

Our music got louder as we grew in confidence and any initial concerns of being able to play ‘correctly’ or what and when to play gradually disappeared. We played fast and we played slowly. We felt how the music affected us, how it motivated us, how it lifted us. We were able to hear our voices again. We discovered that we had skills  that we could offer to the group’s music. We were able to express ourselves as we wished through the music.

~Jane Crampton MA, Music Therapist

Art improves quality of life post stroke

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Patients interested in art have better general health, find it easier to walk, and have more energy.

Anthroposophical Therapies and Aphasia

Creative Speech, Eurythmy, Rhytmical Massage & Wet-on-wet Painting

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For relatives of coma patients

Mozart's Clarinet Quintet

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Prof. Paul Robertson describes how Mozart Clarinet Quintet helped him and and others to come out of coma.

Click the link for the BBC iPlayer and go to 20.00 minutes.

This BBC service is unfortuantely not available outside the UK.

Melodic Intonation Therapy (MIT)

by Prof Chris Code

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You may know that people with aphasia can often sing better than they can speak. Singing familiar songs can be useful too. The crucial steps come when trying other words that the words of the song, especially the words the speaker wants to say.

Melodic Intonation Therapy (MIT) has been found to be helpful for many with ‘nonfluent’ aphasia, those who know what they want to say, but can’t.

This may be for a number of reasons, but the finding that the undamaged right hemisphere is closely involved in music production and reception may be a factor. However, the left hemisphere is also involved in music, but probably other aspects of music. It may also be that singing provides a ‘framework’, where the melody, stress and rhythm provide support that helps speech along.


A ‘programme’ of MIT has been found helpful in many cases. It’s usually provided in stages and levels, getting progressively harder as the individual gradually speaks more words and become less and less dependent on the singing. The ‘singing’ itself should be the kind of singing that opera singers do when just singing a line of dialogue. This is called ‘speech song’. At the beginning of the programme it uses just 2 or 3 notes for a word or short phrase like ‘good morning’. For more details a Google search will throw up articles on MIT that could be useful.

The Alzheimer Association runs ‘singing for the brain’ sessions. Someone with aphasia may be reluctant to join an Alzheimer’s group or may need some reassurance.

Many aphasia therapists will use MIT in their work, though others won’t.

Making non-fluent aphasics speak: sing along!

University of Montreal

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A classic observation in neurology is that aphasics can sing words they cannot pronounce otherwise.

Choral singing appears to be an effective means of speech therapy..

The effects of music on the brain - Columbia University

Oliver Sacks

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Music can help people recover from stroke

Research from Finland


Researchers in Finland have asked whether music can benefit people recovering from stroke. The results are promising: music does indeed appear to make a difference to patients' cognitive recovery.

Why sing?

Linda Dessau, Music Therapist, Toronto, Canada


Why SingPart I: Why Sing?
When people find out that I'm a music therapist, the comments I hear most often are "I wish I could sing!" or "Oh, I love to sing, but I'm not good enough to do it in front of anyone".

Part II: Tips for recreational music activities for people with aphasia.

SING-ALONG, MUSIC APPRECIATION (Discussion) or RHYTHM BAND (Percussion Instruments).

Perceptual Enrichment Program (PEP)

Pat Theisen

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The PEP offers manipulative activities for relearning and combines action, thought and language.

Music Therapy and Aphasia

Dr Shelagh Brumfitt


Music therapists have worked with people who have aphasia and others with brain damage to try and create change in their communication abilities.

Arts in Health

UK network

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Telephone: 0300 1111 461

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