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Cirque Du Soleil
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Patricia Barber
“Whiteworld/Oedipus”
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Cirque Du Soleil
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Delirium
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Jim Pearce
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Prairie Dog Ballet
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Andy Timmons Band
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Amos Lee
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Julius Curcio
"American Pie"
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Lemon
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Feature [Issue #3]
: Music Therapy
By Pat Mavromatis


You’ve probably heard about physical therapy and occupational therapy. Almost all of us have. But there is a form of therapy out there, which many claim is very effective, that not everyone knows - music therapy.

es, you might already be subjecting yourself to some sort of music therapy when you pop those new-age, classical, or whatever-works-for-you CDs in your CD player, light a couple of incense or candles, and sip a drink to relax and get away from life's stress. But you're barely scratching the surface of what music therapy is.

The ancient Greeks, namely Pythagoras, tell us about the interrelation of music and its rhythmic and melodic structure, and mathematics. In ancient Egypt, priests-physicians would use special curative sounds when reading their medical papyri. Scientists today extensively research the effect of music on cerebral function. Music (and its rhythmic element in particular) is everywhere, "in the migrations of the birds and animals, in the fruiting and withering of plants, and in the birth, maturation and death of ourselves," Mickey Hart (of the Greatful Dead) told a Senate panel studying music therapy.

So what is the process involved? Music therapists design programs that include certain musical, if you wish, activities (for example playing an instrument or sihging) with the goal to induce non-musical behavioral or functional change (for example coping with trauma, diverting pain, reducing stress, or learning to walk again after a debilitating accident). This can be done in an individual or group setting. Karl H. Pribram, Professor Emeritus at Stanford University, says that, "music is one of the most profound human achievements. It compliments human linguistic ability and enters deeply into the human emotional experience. As such, it is a tremendous contribution to healing. Matthew Lee, a medical doctor and Director of the Rusk Institute in New York, talks about his experience, "Music Therapy has been an invaluable tool with many of our rehabilitation patients," he says. "There is no question that the relationship of music and medicine will blossom because of the advent of previously unavailable techniques that can now show the effects of music."

Although there is still need for additional medical research to further substantiate its healing claims more and more Americans turn to music therapy for help. Diagnosed at age 21 (in 1996) with medulloblastoma, a rare malignant brain tumor, Matthew Zachary, as many expected, would probably have to give up his dream of becoming a concert pianist. After his surgery and against all odds Matthew started playing piano again. Now it's been seven years, his cancer is in total remission, and Matthew plays the piano and records CDs for his own Matthew Zachary Music (www.matthewzachary.com). How did he do it? Well, with a lot of patience, determination, playing the piano 5 minutes a day, and scribbling notes on paper. Matthew Lee, a medical doctor and Director of the Rusk Institute in New York, talks about his experience, “Music Therapy has been an invaluable tool with many of our rehabilitation patients,” he says. “There is no question that the relationship of music and medicine will blossom because of the advent of previously unavailable techniques that can now show the effects of music.”

Although there is still need for additional medical research to further substantiate its healing claims more and more Americans turn to music therapy for help. Diagnosed at age 21 (in 1996) with medulloblastoma, a rare malignant brain tumor, Matthew Zachary, as many expected, would probably have to give up his dream of becoming a concert pianist. After his surgery and against all odds Matthew started playing piano again. Now it’s been seven years, his cancer is in total remission, and Matthew plays the piano and records CDs for his own Matthew Zachary Music (www.matthewzachary.com). How did he do it? Well, with a lot of patience, determination, playing the piano 5 minutes a day, and scribbling notes on paper.

If you want to get more information on music therapy or find a music therapist near you please contact the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) at (301) 589-3300 or on the web at www.musictherapy.org.





Music Therapy


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