Parents and students who avail themselves of services offered by the Foundation for Music and Healing, Inc. place themselves squarely in the center of a rapidly developing and exciting field.
Important developments are happening in the field of music as it relates to individuals of all abilities. Some students who approach the Foundation for services are younger than ever before.
Many have been referred by family or specialty physicians, therapists or other health care professionals. Some have multiple challenges that have been diagnosed through rigorous testing and evaluation.
For others, there is no definitive diagnosis, although serious life challenges are evident. Use of music as a therapeutic intervention is almost universally recognized as beneficial by healthcare personnel and parents as well as by family members.
Researchers all over the world are adding to the body of knowledge about the wonders music can work in the lives of all concerned. Various associations, educational institutions, private foundations and individuals are expanding the practical as well as theoretical aspects of music as it relates to various life challenges.
Physical, psychological and social aspects are increasingly being recognized as important. Benefits abound for those who surround themselves with the "magic" of music.
A Special Environment for
Healing and Wellness
"Simply put, music can heal people."
— Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nevada)
On the frontier of emerging research, we know that music:
Creates a sense of community and connectedness.
On a personal level, it provides a deep emotional catharsis. On a social level, it connects the student with other players and listeners in shared artistic experiences.
Acts on the brain’s right hemisphere.
Melodic Intonation Therapy stimulates multiple channels and facilitates motor skills and expressive language. This creates an opening to new patterns of behavior to overcome physical and psychological blockages to effective functioning. Creativity, expression and problem-solving abilities are enhanced. Tactile techniques involving touching the keys and “high fives” positively stimulate other kinesthetic senses.
Creates an environment of success where new skills can be developed.
It is a pleasing and fun experience in which clients can embrace new behavior possibilities. They are enabled to step outside of themselves, leaving past failures, problems, obstacles and everyday barriers behind. It affirms the worth of the individual with joyful affirmation, including praise, applause, and laughter — all of which have positive therapeutic value. Lessons are individually tailored so that the usual standards or expectations associated with piano lessons are not applied. Individual effort and accomplishment is celebrated and built upon with the goal of future achievement.
The best approach used with special needs students is to integrate total body functioning. This recognizes the obvious but often overlooked fact that eyes, ears, mouth, hands and feet are connected to, and ultimately controlled by, the brain. Playing piano requires the appropriate combination of these elements into effective action.
Although we don't yet fully understand all of the psychological and physiological processes involved, music seems to facilitate improvement in needed areas when practiced over time.
(The) almost universal responsiveness to music is an essential part of our neural nature. — Dr. Oliver Sacks, New York City neurologist and author of Awakenings