Music therapy re-routes speech pathways and reactivates areas of the brain that control speech.

Today’s blog post is in celebration of neurologic music therapy (NMT) and its role in speech rehabilitation in patients with aphasia, speech disorders, apraxia, and speech goals in clients with autism and/or Down syndrome. For example, clients who have experienced a stroke in the left hemisphere may experience aphasia.
NMT induces neuroplasticity and re-routes speech pathways from the left hemisphere (where the principle language centre of the brain is) to the right hemisphere (which is more responsive to the tempo, rhythm and prosody of music), and stimulates right hemispheric networks for speech production. There is also evidence that long-term music therapy (using ‘melodic intonation therapy’) can reactivate the original language centre in the left hemisphere.
More detail can be found in the Handbook of Neurologic Music Therapy, which is also the reference for this post.
Sarah Grey offers Neurologic Music Therapy at her studio in Fyshwick, Canberra.
Thaut, M., Thaut, C., & McKintosh, K. (2014). Melodic intonation therapy. In Thaut, M. & Hoemberg, V. (Eds.) Handbook of neurologic music therapy (1st ed.) (pp. 140-145). Oxford University Press.

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