by Allison G. Hingley, MM, MT-BC
Yesterday, November 21st, Atlantic Music Therapy, LLC represented the field of music therapy at the Smithfield Middle School Career Day. Students were engaged and asked incredible questions. To us, what is always most exciting about talking to students about the field is how important this information could be in their future and in the future of the field. In the groups that came through, there could be
Part of the mission of Atlantic Music Therapy, LLC is to serve as a valuable educational resource to our many and diverse communities. If you are in need of a speaker for your event, please feel free to contact us at your convenience.
by Allison G. Hingley, MM, MT-BC
This Saturday, November 11th, Atlantic Music Therapy, LLC was honored to participate in the first UNC Comprehensive Stroke Center Stroke Survivor Event. This was a half-day event, held at the Carolina Inn in Chapel Hill.
Atlantic Music Therapy, LLC was a vendor for the event. It was an honor to meet and speak with survivors, as well as share information about music therapy with attendees and other vendors.
We look forward to working with members of the stroke community in our area, and participating in the UNC Comprehensive Stroke Center Stroke Survivor Event for many years!
by Allison G. Hingley, MM, MT-BC
This weekend, Atlantic Music Therapy, LLC had the honor of participating in Moving Day® NC Triangle. The weather could not have been more perfect, the participants were excited and engaged, and the resources available were out of this world! We enjoyed being under the tent, on stage with the Moving Day Singers, and in front of the crowd. Here is what we did at each location:
In Front of the Crowd, our very own Allison Hingley led the entire amphitheater in an exciting movement exercise, which required everyone to clap, stomp, and shout "Move It!" Once the crowd was pumped up and ready to go, the walk began.
This event builds so much camaraderie among the Parkinson's community, and Atlantic Music Therapy, LLC looks forward to it every year. The great news is, the giving goes on past the event date! To give to our team, the Pacing Pirates, click here; your contributions help fund grants in our community, like the one that funds our MT4PD groups.
by Jamie E. Gilliam, MTI
Each year on June 21, the Alzheimer’s Association hosts "The Longest Day," an event which encourages participants to raise money for Alzheimer’s dementia research by joining in activities they enjoy. Alzheimer’s disease affects 1 in 10 people over the age of 65, and two-thirds of people with Alzheimer’s are women. Alzheimer’s is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States, and is the only cause of death in the top ten that cannot be prevented, treated, or cured. (1)
While researchers and scientists work on finding ways to treat and eventually cure Alzheimer’s, people and families affected by the disease must find ways to cope with the cognitive and behavioral symptoms. Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease that starts with mild memory loss and eventually leads to the loss of the ability to respond to the environment; some people with the disease experience mood and personality changes. (2)
Music therapy has been shown to be effective in patients with Alzheimer’s disease through music’s unique effect on neural networks. Research has shown that listening to and participating in live music-making experiences aid patients with Alzheimer’s in memory recall (3), increased positive mood states (4), pain and anxiety management (4), orientation to time and place (5), and increased social interaction (6). Caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s disease can use music to assist in activities of daily living, use patient preferred music associated with good memories to aid in autobiographical recall, and use soothing music in the evening to ease the sundowning phenomenon.
To find out more about how music therapy can help with Alzheimer’s, or to learn how you can use music in the care of your loved one, comment below or contact Atlantic Music Therapy, LLC.
(1) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2017). US Death Rates from Alzheimer’s Disease Increased 55 Percent from 1999 to 2014. Retrieved from: https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2017/p0525-alzheimer-deaths.html
(2) Healthy Brain Initiative: Alzheimer’s Disease. Retrieved from: https://www.cdc.gov/aging/aginginfo/alzheimers.htm
(3) Simmons-Stern, N. R., Budson, A. E., & Ally, B. A. (2010). Music as a Memory Enhancer in Patients with Alzheimer’s Disease. Neuropsychologia, 48(10), 3164–3167. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2010.04.033
(4) Raglio, A., Attardo, L., Gontero, G., Rollino, S., Groppo, E., & Granieri, E. (2015). Effects of music and music therapy on mood in neurological patients. World Journal of Psychiatry, 5(1), 68–78. http://doi.org/10.5498/wjp.v5.i1.68
(5) Fang, R., Ye, S., Huangfu, J., & Calimug, D. (2017). Music therapy is a potential intervention for cognition of Alzheimer’s Disease: A mini-review. Translational Neurodegeneration, 6(2). https://doi.org/10.1186/s40035-017-0073-9
(6) Clair, A.A., (1996). The Effect of Singing on Alert Responses in Persons with Late Stage Dementia, Journal of Music Therapy, 33(4), 234–247. https://doi.org/10.1093/jmt/33.4.234
by Jamie E. Gilliam, MTI
A stroke, or cerebrovascular accident (CVA), occurs when the blood supply to the brain is interrupted by the blockage of a blood vessel, or when a blood vessel in the brain bursts (1). Every year, approximately 795,000 strokes occur in America. Strokes are the fifth leading cause of death in US, killing more than 130,000 Americans every year (2).
Treatment and recovery options depend on what kind of stroke has occurred. The most common type of stroke, accounting for 87% of all strokes, is the ischemic stroke (3). Ischemic strokes happen when blood flow to the brain is blocked, usually caused by a blood clot. Hemorrhagic strokes happen when a blood vessel in the brain ruptures, the leaking blood causes pressure on the brain, and affected areas become damaged. A third type of stroke, transient ischemic attack (TIA) or “mini-stroke,” differs from other types because the blood flow to the brain is only blocked for a short amount of time. TIAs are warning signs of a future stroke.
Depending on the severity of the stroke, a survivor may be left with brain damage and life-long disabilities. A recovery period may be weeks, months, or even years. According to the CDC, some typical issues following stroke include trouble with thinking and attention, depression, paralysis (on one or both sides of the body) or other motor control deficits, and problems with understanding or forming speech (4). To address these issues, rehabilitation begins in the hospital immediately following a stroke. A stroke rehabilitation team can include, but is not limited to, a neurologist, psychotherapist, speech, physical, occupational, and music therapist.
Based on areas of need, music therapists may work on sensorimotor, speech/language, and/or cognitive goals. Neurologic music therapy (NMT) is a model for music therapy in medicine that is especially effective in stroke rehabilitation (5). NMT techniques have been found to help patients with non-fluent expressive aphasia by rerouting speech pathways around damaged areas of the brain (6). Music is also used during gait training to help stroke survivors improve their ability to walk (7). Music therapy has shown to have a positive effect on mood in patients following a stroke and enhances cognitive recovery (8,9).
To learn more about how music therapy can help stroke survivors, or to invite us to speak to your organization about music therapy, please contact us.
(1) Stroke, 2016. Retrieved from: https://www.cdc.gov/stroke/index.htm
(2) Kochanek K.D., Xu J.Q., Murphy S.L., Arias E. (2014) Mortality in the United States, 2013. NCHS Data Brief, 178. Hyattsville, MD: NCHS, CDC, DHHS
(3) Mozzafarian D., Benjamin E.J., Go A.S., Arnett D.K., Blaha M.J., Cushman M., et al. (2016) Heart disease and stroke statistics—2016 update: a report from the American Heart Association. Circulation 133(4). e38–360.
(4) Stroke Recovery, 2016. Retrieved from: https://www.cdc.gov/stroke/recovery.htm
(5) Thaut, M.H. & McIntosh, G.C. (2014) Current Physical Medicine Rehabilitation Reports 106(2). http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40141-014-0049-y
(6) Breier, J. I., et al. (2010). Changes in maps of language activity activation following melodic intonation therapy using magnetoencephalography: Two case studies. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology. 32(3). 309-14. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13803390903029293
(7) Roerdink M., Lamoth C.J.C., van Kordelaar J., Elich P, Konijnenbelt M., Kwakkel G., Beek P.J. (2009) Rhythm perturbations in acoustically paced treadmill walking after stroke. Neurorehabilitation & Neural Repair. 23, 668–78.
(8) Kim, D. S., Park, Y. G., Choi, J. H., Im, S.-H., Jung, K. J., Cha, Y. A., … Yoon, Y. H. (2011). Effects of Music Therapy on Mood in Stroke Patients. Yonsei Medical Journal, 52(6), 977–981. http://doi.org/10.3349/ymj.2011.52.6.977
(9) Sarkamo, T., et. al. (2008). Music listening enhances cognitive recovery and mood after middle cerebral artery stroke. Brain, Mar 131(3), 866-76. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/brain/awn013
by Jamie E. Gilliam, MTI
Since 1949, America has observed Mental Health Awareness month in May to raise mental health awareness for everyone, including those diagnosed with mental illnesses. This year’s theme is “Risky Business,” and focuses on educating the public about habits that may indicate the presence of or increase the risk of developing a mental illness. Prescription and other drug misuse, compulsive buying, internet addiction, compulsive sex, and exercise disorders are all risk factors that could disrupt a person’s mental health and potentially lead them towards a mental health crisis.
So, what are some ways to avoid “Risky Business?” According to Mental Health America, some options to stay busy and keep a healthy mind include:
Music therapy can help those with mental health conditions with self-identity and awareness, improve quality of life, and help to maintain wellness. Music therapy offers opportunities for individuals to focus on the present moment, requires activation and coordination of the entire brain, and provides a successful experience through individual or group interaction. A music therapy wellness group typically includes exercises such as instrument playing, group singing, active music listening, and movement. Wellness groups mainly use social activities that are fun and engaging, but have overall goals including attention training and group cohesion.
If you or someone you know would benefit from a music therapy wellness group, or if you have any questions about music therapy and mental health, comment below or contact us for more information.
For even more information about Mental Health Awareness Month, visit Mental Health America online.
by Jamie E. Gilliam, MTI
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head, or penetrating head injury that results in disruption in the normal function of the brain (1). In 2013 approximately 2.8 million people visited the emergency room for TBI-related injuries (2). The severity of a brain injury ranges from mild (resulting in a brief change in consciousness) to severe (resulting in extended period of change in consciousness and potentially life-changing effects).
Depending on the injury, a TBI can cause short or long-term changes in cognition, speech, and physical abilities. The effects of a severe brain injury can last for the extent of the survivor’s life. Rehabilitation services are provided to help restore or maintain functional abilities and improve quality of life. A typical rehabilitation team includes a neuropsychologist, physical therapist, occupational therapist, speech-language therapist, and a music therapist.
Last Monday, I attended the 2017 Brain Injury Association of North Carolina Annual Family Conference for brain injury survivors and their families in Selma, NC. This was an excellent opportunity for families of survivors to connect with each other and with community resources. The sessions I attended, which are summarized below, focused on including the survivor in their treatment plan (when appropriate), networking with other families and supporters in the community, and gaining access to any and all services available.
Communication Support Teams
Maura English Silverman, MS, CCC/SLP – Triangle Aphasia Project
After a traumatic event, friends in the community want to help but need guidance on how to help. This session focused on how to create a strong support network for survivors of TBI and their families. With the convenience of social media, a survivor’s family can create a page with a schedule of doctor or therapy appointments, meals, and recreation time. Volunteers can sign up to help with recreation time, bringing meals to the family, or with transportation. Using the calendar to give a music therapist notice, family members are able to participate in sessions, focusing on family strengthening and communication.
Kenneth Bausell, BSN, RN – Division of Medical Assistance
Sara Wilson, CBIS – Alliance Behavioral Healthcare
This session was focused on the Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services TBI waiver program. The purpose of this waiver is to provide rehabilitation services and support through the community to facilitate recovery, promote independence, and community involvement. The goals of the waiver are to
This waiver would cover music therapy, as it is an evidenced-based, person-centered practice that can be used to promote self-sufficiency. Music therapy can be used individually to work on rehabilitation goals, or in a group of caregivers and family members to promote the development of a strong support team. As music is intrinsically motivating, the survivor’s outlook on rehabilitation can be boosted through successful experiences in music therapy.
Art Therapy / Music Therapy
Yael Divon, MSATC – Cary Art Therapy, LLC
Allison Hingley, MM, MT-BC – Atlantic Music Therapy, LLC
Art therapy is frequently used with those who have sustained a brain injury, especially with mild TBIs. Art therapy is a mental health profession that addresses psychological, social, physical, and cognitive issues through creative activities, facilitated by an art therapist. A goal in art therapy is to improve or restore a patient’s functioning and their sense of personal wellbeing (4).
Research has shown that the use of music therapy, specifically neurologic music therapy (NMT), can help patients with rehabilitative goals in cognition, sensory, and motor control (5, 6). Neuroplasticity, the ability of the brain to change and create new pathways, is a huge component in rehabilitation of the brain. Because music is processed globally, music helps to create and strengthen new pathways around the damaged part of the brain (7). NMT consists of twenty research based techniques, which address sensorimotor, speech/language, and cognitive goals (8).
If you or someone you know has survived a traumatic brain injury, help is available. To find out more about how music therapy can help in rehabilitation for TBI survivors, or how it can provide support for families and caregivers, contact us!
(1) Traumatic Brain Injury. 2017. Retrieved from: https://www.cdc.gov/traumaticbraininjury/basics.html
(2) Taylor, C.A., Bell, J.M., Breiding, M.J., Xu L. (2017) Traumatic brain injury-related emergency department visits, hospitalizations, and deaths - United States, 2007 and 2013. MMWR Surveillance Summaries 66(9),1–16. http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.ss6609a1.
(3) TBI Waiver Draft. 2017. Retrieved from: https://ncdma.s3.amazonaws.com/s3fs-public/documents/files/TBI_Waiver_Draft-for_Public_Comment_2016_01.pdf
(4) What is art therapy? 2017. Retrieved from: https://www.arttherapy.org/upload/whatisarttherapy.pdf
(5) Belin, P., Van Eeckhout, P., Zilbovicius, M., et al. (1996). Recovery from nonfluent aphasia after melodic intonation therapy. Neurology 47(6), 1504–1511. http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/WNL.47.6.1504
(6) Thaut, M.H., Leins, A.H., Rice, R.R., et al. (2007). Rhythmic auditory stimulation improves gait more than NDT/Bobath training in near-ambulatory patients early post stroke: A single blind randomized control trial. Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair 21(5), 455–459. https://doi.org/10.1177/1545968307300523
(7) Schlaug, G. “Music, musicians, and brain plasticity,” in S. Hallam, I. Cross, and M. H. Thaut, eds., The Oxford Handbook of Music Psychology (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008): 197–208.
(8) Thaut, M.H., Hoemberg, V. (2014) Handbook of neurologic music therapy. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
By Jamie E. Gilliam, MTI
What is Autism?
Usually diagnosed in early childhood, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) refers to a wide range of complex neurodevelopmental disorders that can cause significant social, communication, and behavioral challenges (1). ASD appears in all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups, but is nearly 4.5 times more common in males. The most recent study by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 1 in 68 children has ASD (2). ASD does not necessarily manifest physically, but someone with autism may interact, behave, and learn in a different way than most people. Because it is a ‘spectrum’ disorder, the cognitive abilities of someone with ASD can range from gifted to severely challenged.
ASD Treatment Planning
As soon as a child is diagnosed with ASD, a treatment program should be developed. Early interventions are most effective in enhancing a child’s development. Typical goal areas for someone with autism are behavioral, social, and communicative, but each treatment plan should be tailored to address the specific needs of the individual. Depending on the areas of need, an interdisciplinary treatment team may include (but is not limited to) behavioral therapy, dietary therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and music therapy.
ASD and Music Therapy
Music therapy has shown to be effective with those with ASD, as people of all backgrounds and abilities can have successful experiences in music. The accessibility of music often elicits positive responses in individuals with ASD (3). A music therapy session provides structure, predictability, and consistency, all aspects that support the learning style of someone with ASD. Music therapy interventions focus on social, sensorimotor, emotional, and cognitive functioning, and reinforce goals addressed in an individual’s treatment plan (4). Music therapy services for young children with ASD are very effective for improving communication, interpersonal skills, personal responsibility, and play (5). Music therapy is administered through one-on-one sessions, or group sessions, which facilitate appropriate social interaction and communication. A music therapist works alongside the treatment team and documents the individual’s progress towards achieving their goals, while making recommendations for generalization. Music therapy helps motivate the individual, their family, and the treatment team by providing opportunities for success and empowering the patient to transfer functional skills learned in therapy to their lives.
For more information or research about music therapy and autism, click here or contact us!
(1) Autism Spectrum Disorder. 2017. Retrieved from: https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/facts.html
(2) Christensen, D.L., Baio J., Braun K.V., et al. (2016). Prevalence and characteristics of Autism Spectrum Disorder among children aged 8 years - Autism and developmental disabilities monitoring network, 11 sites, United States, 2012. MMWR Surveillance Summaries 65(3),1–23. http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.ss6503a1
(3) Kern, P. (2014). Music therapy: Personalized interventions for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder. In V. Hu (Ed.) Frontiers in autism research: New horizons for diagnosis and treatment (pp. 607-625). Singapore: World Scientific
(4) ASD and MT. 2015. Retrieved from: https://www.musictherapy.org/assets/1/7/Fact_Sheet_ASD_and_MT_10-21-15.pdf
(5) Whipple, J. (2012). Music Therapy as an effective treatment with Autism Spectrum Disorders in early childhood: A meta-analysis. In P. Kern & M. Humpal (Eds.), Early childhood music therapy and autism spectrum disorders: Developing potential in young children and their families (pp. 59-76). London and Philadelphia: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
by Jamie E. Gilliam, MTI
My name is Jamie Gilliam, and I am a 23-year-old native of Eastern North Carolina and a born-and-raised Pirate. I completed all music therapy coursework at East Carolina University’s accredited School of Music in May of 2016. To complete my degree, the American Music Therapy Association requires a six-month (or 900 hour) internship under the supervision of a nationally Board Certified Music Therapist (MT-BC). My internship began almost three weeks ago at Atlantic Music Therapy, LLC in Clayton, NC. Atlantic Music Therapy, LLC is a private practice which serves adults with neurologic illness or injury.
As I said, I graduated last spring. You might be wondering why it took so long to secure an internship. I am close with my family so I didn’t want to go out of state, and there are only five ‘National Roster’ internship sites in North Carolina. While searching the research triangle, I came into contact with Allison Hingley, a neurologic music therapist and the owner of Atlantic Music Therapy. After discussing the opportunity for an internship, she allowed me to observe her group for people with Parkinson’s disease. Through college, I thought I wanted to work with children, but seeing the impact music therapy was making on these patients’ rehabilitation and maintenance goals was inspiring.
In these first three weeks my internship, I have been reassured that this career is for me. I’ve been to the Southern Eastern Regional conference for the American Music Therapy Association, an entire weekend dedicated to expanding and sharing music therapy knowledge, networking with other therapists, and reenergizing your own therapeutic philosophy. At conference, I reconnected with classmates from ECU and made new connections with students and interns. For the first time, I was able to see the student AND professional side of operations, and was most inspired by the Music Therapy Association of North Carolina (MTANC) meeting.
MTANC is pushing for music therapy licensure in North Carolina to ensure board certified music therapists are the professionals providing quality services to healthcare consumers in the state. To help in this effort, my internship director and I went to the NC Legislative Office building in Raleigh to talk to representatives and senators about our bill (H192) and to help to gain support and awareness. This was an encouraging experience and helpful practice in explaining what our field does to help and why licensure is necessary.
Along with these opportunities for advocacy and field-strengthening events, I’ve had the opportunity to provide therapy again! Our patients at Atlantic Music Therapy are a lot different than a classroom of children with special needs, and I look forward to learning how to better serve a population with which I am less familiar.
I’ll be keeping a blog throughout my internship to share what I am learning as a future music therapist, keep track of my growth, and connect with music therapists and music therapy interns. Over the next six months, I hope to share inspiration and insight into what it actually means to be a music therapy intern and eventually, a Board Certified Music Therapist!
We recently read an article that was a perfect example of someone calling what they do “Music Therapy”. It is so important to be able to recognize when people claiming to practice music therapy without proper training. Four clear signs that the practitioners in the article are NOT practicing music therapy are:
While this recreation program is benefitting residents currently, the future could hold adverse reactions for some patients. If this happens, recreation staff would not be prepared to explain the reaction or counter the effects because, again, they are not familiar with the neurologic mechanisms of music processing and production. We feel that the Music & Memory program is wonderful and that it has a place in every skilled nursing facility, but it is NOT music therapy.
To learn more about how Atlantic Music Therapy, LLC can help you make the most of the Music & Memory program in your facility, contact us or visit our webpage for facilities.
Allison G. Hingley, MM, MT-BC
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