Some treatments for cerebral palsy may seem obvious, such as physical therapy, but some are less well known. One effective approach you may be unaware of is music therapy.
As the name implies, music therapy uses music as a therapeutic tool to restore, maintain and improve mental, physical and emotional health. When using music therapy, therapists work with patients to create specific, long-term objectives. Therapists then help patients to reach these objectives using different musical activities, including singing, playing instruments, moving to music, improvising, composing and listening.
Three areas of music are particularly helpful for those with cerebral palsy:
- Singing – helps improve speech and language skills, including vocalization, verbalization, articulation, language expression and reception, rhythm and breathe control.
- Playing Instruments – improves gross and fine motor skills, including coordination, balance, dexterity, range of motion, strength, and social skills like participation, self-esteem and cooperation.
- Rhythmic Movement – helps with gross motor skills, including mobility, agility, balance, coordination and respiration patterns and muscular relaxation.
Music can also be combined with physical therapy to motivate movements or structure exercises, and may provide some distraction from the pain associated with these movements.
Humans have probably been creating music as long as we have been around. It is interesting to see that the benefits of music go beyond the pleasure of listening to it.
Cappolino Dodd Krebs, LLP – cerebral palsy lawyers