Neurologic Music Therapy Training
NMT is a specialized form of music therapy developed to meet the needs of those suffering from neurologic injuries or disorders, such as stroke, traumatic brain injury (TBI) and dementia.
NMT training uses auditory structures and patterns in music as cues for retraining brain function. It has been a groundbreaking advancement in using music therapy techniques to treat disorders and disabilities, with studies showing improved motor, speech and language as well as cognitive skills.
Standardized clinical interventions for motor, speech/language and cognitive rehabilitation have been created from research evidence. As a result, this treatment approach has proven highly successful for those suffering from stroke, traumatic brain injury or other neurological conditions.
The NMT training is a four-day course accredited by both the World Federation of Neurorehabilitation and European Federation of Neurorehabilitation societies, as well as being recognized by the U.S. Certification Board for Music Therapists for Continuing Music Therapy Education (CMTE) credits.
NMT therapists are also educated in assessment methods that can be used as the basis for selecting musical-based interventions and tracking client progress. This helps the therapist ensure the interventions are working effectively, while also identifying any potential issues requiring further investigation or resolution.
NMT training equips therapists with the foundational theory of how music affects mood and physiological functioning, as well as its effects on motivation, memory, and emotional well-being. With this understanding, they are then able to apply it in their clinical work.
NMT therapy can be utilized for clients suffering from conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, cerebral palsy, autism spectrum disorder and stroke. The therapist’s purpose is to promote healing and recovery.
MACT is a music-based exercise designed to develop the capacity for focused attention and quick responses. It requires clients to listen intently to a drum beat or piano melody and begin moving, playing an instrument, or doing another activity when the sound is heard – then stop when it stops being heard. This type of exercise may be especially helpful for individuals with apraxia, autism, attention deficit disorder, or difficulties controlling impulses.
The therapist’s objective is to motivate clients to keep practicing the exercise, leading to increased self-assurance and a sense of accomplishment when they do so.
The third standardized technique in NMT is Musical Executive Functioning Training (MEFT). This involves repetitive and controlled movement exercises designed to stimulate executive function (such as planning, organizing, focusing and multitasking) using complex rhythms and melodies. MEFT can be especially beneficial for clients with frontal lobe damage (e.g., traumatic brain injury) or other neurological diseases or disorders affecting executive functions.
MEFT sessions help clients improve coordination, balance and body movements as well as motor control and flexibility. During MEFT sessions, the therapist uses music that is familiar to the client in order to heighten awareness of their own movements and build confidence in themselves and their abilities.