Music Therapy for Stroke Rehabilitation

At Muse for Life in Sandy Springs Atlanta, we give private & group music therapy sessions for individuals who have suffered from a stroke and are in need of rehabilitation. Stroke has two causes. These are:

Ischemia- blockage of an artery/blood vessel that supplies blood to the brain. This blockage may be caused by:

* Disease such as arteriosclerosis, which thickens and hardens the artery walls,

* Fatty deposits on the inner walls of arteries that obstruct blood flow,

* A blood clot called a thrombus, or

* An embolism, which is caused by a moving blood clot called an embolus.

Intracranial hemorrhage- bleeding within the head caused by:

* Hypertension- sudden increase in blood pressure that leads to rupture of arteries & bleeding inside the brain

* Cerebral aneurysm- a condition where the wall of an artery bulges because of weak tissue, breaks, interrupts blood flow, and causes bleeding in the braino Other factors- obesity, diabetes, smoking, & congenital vascular disease


The severity of the stroke depends upon cause, size of lesion, location in the brain, quantity of brain tissue involved, health status of patient prior to stroke, and number of complications occurring after the stroke. Recovery of physical & cognitive functions after the stroke is important but may be complicated due to unconsciousness, confusion, disorientation, memory loss, peak phase paralysis, and impairment of speech and vision. Patients may experience spontaneous recovery within 3-6 months after the injury. Assessment of injury usually evaluates cognitive function, communication (dysarthria, aphasia, apraxia), physical function, & socioemotional function. Music therapy sessions and goals are tailored to target effected areas


MusicTherapy Goals for Stroke Rehabilitation

Goals for using music therapy for stroke rehabilitation and recovery are numerous and dependent upon assessed areas that have been affected, but, generally, goals may be viewed within the context of specific skill sets.

These are:


Cognitive Skill-Building Goals

* To increase or improve sensory stimulation & training

* To improve reality orientation, attention training, memory training, perceptual training & executive

* Strategies training

* To use rhythm, melody & other elements of music

* To provide excellent structures to organize & remember information (mneumonic, chunking, rhyme)


Communication Skill-Building Goals

* To treat aphasia by facilitating spontaneous voluntary speech

* To practice Melodic Intonation Therapy (MIT)

* To practice the Nonpropositional Speech Stimulation approach

* To practice rhythmic speech cuing

* To treat dyspraxia by facilitating & improving oral motor function

* To practice vocal intonation therapy by position training with & without sound

* To improve speech, muscular and breath control

* To practice therapeutic singing & vocal exercises

* To practice rhythmic breath exercises

* To practice upper body relaxation

* To control rate of speech using rhythmic cuing


Motor Skill-Building Goals

* To improve motor skills & functioning

* To practive music & movement integration to provide motivation, purpose, structure, & physiological facilitation

* To expereince movement with music as time keeper, pacemaker & muscular entrainment signal.

* To experience music as patterned sensory stimulation

* To experience music as rhythmic entrainment

* To experience music as audiospinal facilitation (startle reflex)

* To exercise physical functions through movement with music

* To recognize music's auditory feedback & purposeful movement

* To use music to provide affective/motivational arousal and motor memory


Socioemotional Skill-Building Goals

* To utilize music as a means of reducing anxiety, facilitating coping mechanisms and fulfilling the need for social interaction skills



Contact Us At:

Muse for Life Community Inspiration Center

205 Hilderbrand Drive

Sandy Springs, Ga. 30328

(404) 943-1063,