The power of music in neurorehabilitation

Music is an essential feature for almost everyone. We listen to it when waking up, while we commute; it is our constant companion. Music provides us with emotions, brings us memories and helps us to express ourselves. Music also helps us to connect with others. 


Music can bring great benefits to our brain and body, can help to reduce anxiety, depression and blood pressure. It also helps to improve sleep quality, mood, memory, cognitive functions, enhance learning and concentration. This is why music therapy is an instrumental treatment method used during the recovery process in neurorehabilitation patients.


Music therapy helps people with a huge variety of different physical or mental health issues. Everyone has the ability to react to music, so for this reason music therapists use this connection to bring positive results on the emotional and physical rehabilitation of their patients. In this way, music therapy also helps with communication skills, self-confidence, independence and improves concentration and attention skills. 


This therapy is effective in clinical interventions for people who are affected by disability, illness or injury and they can gain a great benefit working with music therapists. Children with autism can develop emotional, social and communication skills. Like in the case of Rosie, a 7-year-old girl with autism who spent much of her day isolated from the world around her, either standing quietly or jumping around whilst making high pitched vocal sounds. Her therapist provided music to match her movements and expressive sounds. Rosie began to vocalise in the pitch of the music and when the therapist followed her lead, she experienced a new sense of control and connection with the world around her. After a few sessions, she started to give eye-contact for the first time with her therapist and later on with her family. Now, they are helping her to develop her vocal sounds into spoken words. Music is a great instrument to connect us and for a severely autistic person like Rosie, it is a powerful channel for communication and expression. 


People with brain injuries also benefit from the power of music. Music therapy can be used in multiple ways to focus on different problems. As The Headway Association mentions, “rhythmic auditory stimulation is thought to aid movement, musical improvisation is thought to help emotional expression, while singing, oral motor and respiratory exercises are thought to assist speech. Even simply listening to music is thought to be a potential tool in the control of pain, which is notoriously problematic to treat in some cases.” 


The Head of Music Therapy at the Royal Hospital for Neuro-diability, Rosanne Tyas, will be hosting a seminar at the European Neuro Convention 2020. Her presentation will outline the benefits of music therapy intervention including enhancing cognition, speech, movement and emotional expression across different domains in neuro-disability.


The European Neuro Convention running on the 17th & 18th March at the NEC, Birmingham focuses on rehabilitation. To see how music therapy can be used to positively influence patient outcomes in rehabilitation and mental health, register for your free ticket to the European Neuro Convention running on the 17th & 18th March at the NEC, Birmingham.