Physical Disability and Music Therapy
This video showcases some of the development our Music Therapist Greg has achieved with Marcos who is living with Spastic Quadriplegia. As a result of the condition, Marcos’ physical movement can be incredibly challenging. Marcos has limited speech but is able to form words and phrases such as, “what are you doing” that he uses by way of greeting and/or engaging with people. After initial assessments with Marcos, we understood that increasing engagement, quality of life and supporting him physically in music therapy would be the most beneficial clinical aims. Marocs has been receiving weekly 1 hr music therapy sessions at the day service he attends and is accompanied by a support worker that has been supporting his needs and knows him well.
A majority of the musicing in the session is improvisational, spontaneous and on many occasions initiated by Marcos as he utilises a range of instruments including his own voice. We have fun in the sessions and Marcos has shown huge development in a number of areas. Marcos’s speech has improved hugely with words such as “music”, “today” and “hello”, that have become clearer over time. He shouts as loud as he can in music therapy which is a clear indication he enjoys participating and leading the sessions. Marcos pushes himself continuously and this is observed as his face and hands sweat. It has been noted that his physical exertion is higher it Music Therapy than when he is involved in high intensity physical activities such as Taekwondo, so it really goes to show how enthusiastic he is in music therapy.
His gross and fine motor movement are pushed at every session and Marcos has a greater sense of control of where he is hitting percussion instruments and smaller chime bars that require a lot of precision to be played. He also opens his hands so he is able to play the guitar without support and this has been a particularly positive observation.
Marcos has also took part in a case study with some cutting edge research involving facial analysis. By using computer software and dashboards developed by Vibe we can record Marcos’ increase in facial expressions and positive emotions of which which the outcomes have been very conclusive. To find more information on facial analysis and Music Therapy visit our outcome measures page.
Working with Marcos has been a honor and a pleasure to achieve great things with such a fantastic human being.
Areas of focus within music therapy:
⦁ Vocalising words e.g hello, names, music.
⦁ Use of hands and arms to play percussion instruments e.g cymbal and drums.
⦁ Smaller, targeted instruments like hand chimes.
⦁ Using hands to play guitar and piano.