Monday, February 27, 2012

Music Therapy Soothes Patients Young and Old

Music therapist Amy Kalas, provides
music therapy at United Cerebral Palsy
in Miami

Read more here:
MIAMI, Fla. -- Rachel Harrell, tiny and rail-thin at 90 years old, sits in her armchair, staring vacantly ahead. Her niece, Marion Adderly, prompts her to greet the woman who has just entered the house. Harrell doesn’t turn her head while the group around her talks, and someone tunes a guitar in the corner of her room.
But suddenly the guitarist begins to sing Amazing Grace, and everything changes. Harrell, who had just struggled to mumble “hello,” starts to sing along. By the time the song has switched to T his Little Light of Mine, she is sitting upright and clapping in time.
Harrell is in the late stages of Alzheimer’s disease and can communicate very little. But bi-monthly visits from Patricia Chaviano, her music therapist, breathe new life into her.
“It’s bringing her back from the dead and letting her sing,” Adderly said.
Music therapy is a growing field that shows promise at reaching people, such as autistic children or elders suffering from Alzheimer’s, who can’t otherwise be reached. Music therapists typically work with other health-care professionals to treat conditions such as autism, cerebral palsy and dementia.

Read more here:

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