Renee is currently working with a ten year old girl on the Autism Spectrum Disorder names Daysi. When we first began treatment, Daysi manifested no eye contact, no speech or communication in any way to indicate her ability or willingness to engage in music therapy. After 5 ½ hour sessions, Daysi smiles when I come to the door, uses familiar gestures she has learned to communicate her likes and dislikes. She plays the piano using one finger at a time to improvise a tune and attempts to vocalize the tune of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” when I play piano accompaniment. Daysi’s parents are incredibly happy with her improvement. Her mother once said “Since Daysi has been seeing you, we’ve seen her growing up exponentially!”
10-year-old, middle school student I worked with name Violet was brought to me by her mother for music therapy. She was concerned about her daughter’s self-esteem, confidence, ability to write legibly with cohesion and some difficulty in school subjects such as math. Violet’s mother had seen a television special on how music therapy engaged inner processes of the brain and she hoped the therapy would help her daughter.
After 3 months of weekly treatments, Violet had achieved her objectives and goals which were written after in-depth assessments. Her confidence level rose, she was able to write poetry and songs that evidenced improvement in her thought process and cohesion. Her writing became age appropriate and easily legible. We worked on rhythm which greatly improved her mathematical interest and skills. Her speech became appropriately audible which evidenced improved self-esteem. Violet’s mood continued to improve each week she came to therapy.
Violet’s mother remarked “While our daughter was meeting with you weekly she had a real growth spurt in maturity. She has been blossoming socially and is developing confidence in her abilities.” I am extremely pleased by Violet’s progress in a short period of time. As is evident by her mother’s report, Violet was able to generalize her music therapy skills into her social, academic and maturation abilities.
(From Reuters.com – 10/31/16 – from LinkedIn)
Research data concluded that Patients with depression are markedly improved when using music therapy treatment as part of an overall treatment plan. Analysis found patients felt less depressed, help ease anxiety, and improve
According to research, Music therapy improves patients’ symptoms and functioning. This finding holds across a variety of settings, countries, types of patients and types of music therapy. Music therapy includes a great variety of approaches: passive method such as listening, active methods such as movements, playing instruments to support physical, emotional improvements, participating in musical groups for social skill development or the combination thereof.
More than 300 million people worldwide have depression. It is projected to be the number leading cause of disability by 2020 according to Christian Gold and colleagues of Uni Research Health.
Music Therapy is set apart because it is led by a person with training in music, counseling, psychology and/or treating depression.
I am working with a gentleman named Larry, a 90 year old man who came to therapy at a suggestion of a friend who is a former client of mine. He began therapy manifesting depression and hopelessness. He had little interest in things that used to interest him, had low affect with no faith in improvement.
He has since become motivated for continued growth and happiness. He manifests joy in meeting new people his age at the VA and has begun various classes such as cooking and yoga classes. Larry’s family mentions their happiness with the improvement they have seen in him. I am teaching him piano which he practices frequently and his ability to play even a simple tune brings much happiness for him.
Here is what Larry has to say about his therapy: “I was getting depressed as I approached older age, and found myself living in the past. A good friend suggested that music, being a here and now experience, would help me. So I began music therapy sessions with Renee, and soon discovered how the beauty of music could take me out of my self-pity. I am learning the piano from Renee and it is a great therapy for me to create my own music. Music Therapy with Renee moved my life from the downward spiral to moving upward again.
Quote: Dr. Palmist
"Healing is bringing parts together, empowering, aligning & freeing them. It's also called living"
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Music lives within you - let it heal
REnee Dundas, MA, MTBC
LIVING MUSIC LA | MUSIC THERAPY
Board Certified Music Therapist