The Utilization of Music With Patients with Aphasia: Part Two

The Utilization of Music With Patients with Aphasia: Part Two
By Mark R. Baldridge, Nuance Crusaders #nuance4health,
Sunday, March 29, 2020

To understand how music influences the health of patients with Aphasia, Melodic Intonation Therapy (MIT) could be utilized as a tool. MIT is beneficial because of its inherent sustained vocalization and tapping with the left hand (Gottfried et. al. 2008). In such cases my composition Brazilian Fantasy (lyrics by Andrea Litzenberger) could be utilized for both tapping and vocalization treatment
There are four types of techniques utilized in MIT: Reduction in Speed (words articulated at a slower rate than in speaking); Syllable lengthening, (provides the opportunity to distinguish the individual phonemes that together form words and phrases); Syllable “Chunking” (deals with intonation, change in pitch,  and may help group syllables into words); and Hand tapping (patient utilizing the left hand as each syllable is sung) (Gottfried et. al. 2008).
Even though MIT is a therapy procedure, you still have to decide on a strategy (global or local). For example, melodic contour, music phrasing,  and/or meter generate greater activity in right-hemispheric activation rather than left-hemispheric activation (Gottfried et. al. 2008), the reason being that patients with right-hemispheric lesions have greater difficulty with global processing (e.g. melodies and contour processing) than patients with left-hemispheric lesions (Gottfried et. al. 2008). A lesion is a region in an organ or tissue which has suffered damage through injury or disease, such as a wound, ulcer, abscess, or tumor; a lesion may also result from a stroke. The reason why a decision must be made to determine which therapy to utilize is because the right hemisphere of the brain governs language. In terms of music phrasing, I believe my composition “I Know It Will Better” could be beneficial because of the repetition of the melody I believe my composition has a musical contour that is pleasant to the listener One of the benefits of my compositions is that  they are memorable.

Nuance Crusaders by Mark R. Baldridge,

Gottfried Schlaug, Sarah Marchina, and Andrea Norton. From Singing to Speaking: Why Singing May Lead to Recovery of Expressive Language Function in Patients with Broca’s Aphasia, NIH public Access. Music Percept. 2008. April 1;25(4): 315-323. doi:10,1525/MP.2008:25,4,315


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