By Kaitlin Marie Coffey, Age 19, Project Rhythm Alumna and Intern
Music is an art form that helps you remain awake while studying, keeps the atmosphere at a party alive and becomes your savior when you’re simply bored. Research today is pointing to the conclusion that those melodies and lyrics are capable of so much more. Over the past decade, the clinical application of music therapy has advanced dramatically.
Alzheimer’s is an ongoing mental deterioration which attacks the brain, slowly obliterating memory and thinking skills. This permanent disease is irreparable and eventually prevents individuals from carrying out tasks that once seemed so basic. Music when used accordingly can lead to captivating results, even to those who are in the late stages of Alzheimer’s. According to http://www.alzfdn.org/, music provides a sense of comfort and has the power to evoke memories. Those who suffer from this disease balance better while walking if music is played or someone in the room is singing. Today we learn more each day just how much of an impact music has on the human race.
Autism, also known as ASD, is a progressive disorder that affects the brain’s normal communication and social skills. Those with Autism often have a difficult time interacting, understanding and talking with other people. As reported by http://autismsciencefoundation.wordpress.com/, “A 2004 study from the Journal of Music Therapy found that music in interventions used with children and teens with ASD can improve social behaviors, increase focus and attention, increase communication attempts (vocalizations, verbalizations, gestures, and vocabulary), reduce anxiety, and improve body awareness and coordination.” Music is something that is extremely fun for those that live with ASD but it also empowers them in other ways. Marcela De Vivo, the mother of a child with a critical disorder and writer of this article states, “Music therapy seems to be able to improve social skills, behavior, anxiety and more—and might be the one thing that can reach a child with autism when nothing else will.”
Tourette Syndrome is a condition that causes people to make repetitive, rapid movements and vocalizations that they cannot control. These uncontrollable and involuntary actions are called tics. A singer and songwriter from Detroit, DannyD, has used music throughout his life and career to battle his symptoms of Tourette Syndrome. According to http://detroit.cbslocal.com/, DannyD stated, “I started making noises when I was in second grade, and as time went on … when I was a teen, formed a band, hit the stage and my whole concept of who I was and being an entertainer just focused on that and the Tourettes just kind of went away.”
Music is a beautiful, powerful form of medication. This art form continues to save people every day in the most compact and most significant ways.