Image and text by Rick McVicar
“Hi. How are you? I am fine,” a therapist sings to half a dozen children with cerebral palsy in a YouTube video. The children respond by laughing and drumming out a beat to the lyrics.
In another activity, the children pass a balloon in sync with music being played. The video, “Music Therapy and Cerebral Palsy,” was posted April 17, 2017 by Stephen Philip.
Music therapy helps children with cerebral palsy find balance while helping them to walk more smoothly, according to a Flint Rehab website. The company makes rehabilitation devices, including those useful for music therapy.
Cerebral palsy is a motion disorder caused by damage to a developing brain, according the Flint Rehab article, “Music Therapy for Cerebral Palsy: How It Works and Its Benefits,” posted on Aug. 9, 2021.
“There are various ways to utilize music therapy to help individuals target their specific weaknesses and reach their functional goals,” states the article.
Music therapy can be combined with physical therapy for work on fine motor skills as well as walking. Rhythmic movement can help with posture and stride lengths when walking. Repetition is conducive to training muscles and joints, which can easily be performed with the use of music, according to Flint Rehab.
Music therapy also helps with the integration of various senses, such as sound, vision and touch. In addition, music therapy enhances concentration, mood, memory and social skills.
Flint Rehab offers a therapeutic glove that works in tandem with a computer-based musical program. The user of the glove taps and moves their fingers to rhythmic prompts.