Neurologic Music Therapy (NMT) is a research-based system of 20 standardized clinical techniques for sensorimotor training, speech and language training, and cognitive training. Its treatment techniques are based on the scientific knowledge in music perception and production and the effects thereof on nonmusical brain and behavior functions. Populations served by NMT include stroke, traumatic brain injury, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease, cerebral palsy, Alzheimer’s disease, autism, and other neurological diseases affecting cognition, movement, and communication (e.g., MS, Muscular Dystrophy, etc). NMT goals goals and interventions address rehabilitation, development, and maintenance of functional behaviors (Thaut, 2015).
Neurologic Music Therapy interventions include:
Cognition and Attention Control
- Improve ability to sustain attention to a given stimulus through focus on elements of music for children with ADHD or ASD.
- Address speech delays through singing tasks that invite children with developmental and speech delays to initiate, develop, and articulate sung words, phrases, or songs;
- Address speech needs by pairing music and words to regain speech after a stroke or TBI.
Movement and Coordination
- Address gait training needs by using rhythm to cue steps, addressing cadence, velocity, and stride length after a stroke, for people with Parkinson’s disease, and other neurologic conditions affecting gait.