SENIOR CARE | ELDERLY
We work with seniors individually, in small group settings or within Senior Centers to achieve physical, social, functional and emotional goals. As with all populations, we use research based assessments to find and create the best interventions for each client. We talk to them about their favorite artists or musicians from their past, and start introducing music into their daily routines. Music Therapy at Senior Care Centers is a favored intervention.
Music improves memory, can improve functional levels of individuals with Parkinson’s, dementia and Alzheimer’s diseases. It brings about joy and helps heal the grief due to loss of family, friends and their own functioning levels. Long term research has shown how Music Therapy can help improve the overall quality of life. The interventions can take place in the client’s home, care facilities and family groupings. And it’s fun and can bring families together!
Using musical improvisation and exploration can help a child or adult focus on the sound being created rather than a procedure that is going on or will happen soon. For instance, a child can play a simple melody on the xylophone as the music therapist sings a familiar song while he is getting stitches or undergoing a painful traumatic treatment. Or, the music therapist can engage the child in a non-verbal drum “conversation”. Before the patient knows it, time has passed that was not spent on the physical manifestations of the treatment he/she underwent.
A brief explanation of benefits from Living Music's work with a small spectrum of the populations with which we work follows:
* Mental disorders
* Pain Management
* Parkinson’s, Dementia, Alzheimer’s
* Personality disorders
TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURIES
Clients with traumatic brain injury benefit in a number of ways from participating in Music Therapy treatment. Areas of focus include; improving motor skills and overall physical coordination; coping mechanisms for challenging emotions and bringing balance into an individual’s daily lives. Active music therapy interventions provides clients with myriad opportunities and challenges for the development of gross and fine motor skills, including breath-support, vocalization and verbalization. Active participation in music therapy sessions helps develop lung capacity, encourages good posture, and reinforces communication skills.
The cognitive stimulation produces higher functioning. Requirements needed in musical tasks within a therapeutic setting develop and expands brain activity. Multiple studies have shown how new neural connections can be created that circumvent the parts of the brain which have been damaged or were unavailable from birth.
Music Therapy is growing in popularity. Individuals who have failed to respond to other therapeutic treatments have made meaningful strides with music therapy. In working with a wide variety of populations, Living Music successfully treats and helps clients achieve their highest emotional, psychological, physical, mental and behavioral goals.
CHILDREN (4-12 YEARS); ADOLESCENTS (13-12); ADULTS & SENIORS
Vast research has been based on the power of music for children, adolescents, adults and seniors. We work with all age groups individually and in small group settings. Music Therapy is a powerful, effective research based intervention to achieve goals to heighten and expand our sense of self-awareness and functioning in our daily living. Each client receives individualized goals based on assessments including observation, interviews and consultation. Treatment plans for each individual consist of research based interventions designed individually for each client. Goals to improve skills such as social, emotional, communication, physical and/or academics are achieved through music-based therapy.
We consult with family and caregivers to help generalize skills achieved in therapy. We work with typically developing children and individuals of all ages as well as those with special needs and conditions.
AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER (ASD)
It is a well-known fact that individuals with autism have an innate connection with music. Music is a safe, non-confrontational and efficient means of communication. It connects generations, is part of and holds our culture, beliefs and values. Non-verbal individuals can communicate in a meaningful, functional manner through music. Music connects people in life-long relationships, improves memory, helps make experiences more meaningful and gives depth to our lives. A characteristic deficit for individuals on the spectrum is expressing meaningful communication and creating and maintaining relationships with others.
Emotional and neurological benefits of musical experiences continue throughout our lifespan. Continuous research in neurological music therapy reveals how essential music therapy is in ameliorating symptoms of aging. Some of these symptoms include memory loss, confusion, grief, depression, anxiety and isolation, decline in physical abilities and decline in cognitive functioning. There is vast research being done that shows how effective music therapy is on decreasing the severity of symptoms associated with aging. Other conditions often associated with aging are grief due to loss of independence, family members and friends. Living Music’s work with individuals experiencing these symptoms show greater comfort and expansion in their lives. Family members, loved ones, care-givers and peers also benefit from music therapy. Self-care improves the energy and skills we need to take care of the ones in need
Music therapy leads to increased secretion levels of "feel-good" brain chemicals, including melatonin, serotonin, norepinephrine, epinephrine, and prolactin. The ongoing increase in these chemicals has a myriad of benefits. Music Therapy reduces stress and agitation, fosters positive social interactions, coordinates motor function, and even facilitate cognition thereby improving memory. Even as the disease progresses and cognitive function declines, the human brain still naturally responds to music. And the benefits continue long after the music stops playing.
POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER
Music Therapy began just after WWII from which veterans suffered from what was then called “Shell Shock.” Therapists, families and, in general care-givers noticed how different aspects of music quieted and ameliorated the manifestations of the trauma veterans live through. From these experiences, music therapy began as a certified career that catered to veterans and others suffering from trauma. This grew into what music therapy is today, treating disorders ranging from post-natal through and including geriatrics and those in the care of hospice.
I began my treatment of those suffering from PTSD directly after the Northridge Earthquake in 19…. Research focuses on how music therapy is one of the most efficient means of decreasing all specificities of stress.With the recent increase in school and other mass violence, many students have a great deal of difficulty adjusting to these traumas. In addition, trauma can and does manifest through family changes, residential changes, death of loved ones and a myriad of other causes.
DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES | INTELLECTUAL DISABILITIES
People with Intellectual Disabilities and/or developmental disabilities can have difficulties with communication, behavior and social interaction. Living Music interventions enable people to communicate and express their feelings in a more productive and appropriate manner. In this way, music therapy addresses some of the core problems of children and adults with developmental and/or intellectual disabilities. Multiple studies have documented that Music Therapy is superior to other therapies with respect to verbal and gestural communicative skills in children and adults with these disabilities.
It is difficult for individuals with autism to make sense of the world around them. The aspects of music create a sense of safety and give experiences containment. Hence, rhythm, melody and harmony give a sense of safety. Music has a beginning, middle and end. Rhythm satisfies our anticipation and expectations of what comes next - it satisfies our need for symmetry. In this way, individuals with autism can connect with music due to their need for symmetry, containment and safety. Through music, individuals on the Spectrum can find a means to communicate and make sense of what is being communicated. Often, it is difficult to comprehend facial expressions and emotions for those with ASD. Music communicates with emotion that makes sense to people. Where words fail, music can speak. Oftentimes, individuals with autism can pick up an instrument and begin playing it with inherent talent. It becomes their means of communication. Through the years of experience working with children and adults with autism, I have seen great improvement in emotional expression and understanding along with meaningful communication for each client / student I have worked with. It is well documented that individuals with autism can lead more functional lives and improve communication skills through the use of music therapy.
REnee Dundas, MA, MTBC
Board Certified Music Therapist
Music lives within you - let it heal
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LIVING MUSIC LA | MUSIC THERAPY
Telphone: (310) 962.8497