The Role of Music in Physical Rehabilitation

Dissertation proposal

The Function of Music in Bodily Rehabilitation

Thinker Plato within the Greek Doctrine of Ethos states, ‘Music is an artwork imbued with the facility to penetrate and heal the very depths of the soul’ (Harvey, 1980).  Since antiquity, music has served a therapeutic function in cultural custom. Regardless of having lengthy been recognised for its psychological and physiological results, its use in trendy remedy modalities has solely turn out to be of curiosity to medical professionals in the previous few many years. Music remedy (MT) was first established as an allied well being career post-Second World Battle, in response to the function performed in rehabilitation programmes for warfare veterans (Chiang 2008:30). It's, due to this fact, stunning that alongside medical rehabilitative therapies; physiotherapy (PT), occupational remedy (OT) and speech and language remedy (SLT), MT continues to be perceived to be adjunctive in medical apply.

Clinics present rehabilitation therapies hoping to maximise independence of these with bodily impairment (Weller and Baker, 2009). This paper due to this fact, goals to attain a synthesis of interdisciplinary analysis sources questioning the function of music in bodily rehabilitation. This analysis query will contribute a basis for additional analysis into how music might be utilised to maximise independence of sufferers affected by bodily impairment as a consequence of Traumatic Mind Harm (TBI). With regard to the dissertation I intend to reply a number of sub-questions together with

  • The present MT interventions in bodily rehabilitation for TBI
  • The function of the music therapist
  • The operate of concord and rhythm in present rehabilitative therapies

I'll collate my analysis by means of a scientific overview of secondary analysis which I'll then evaluate to interviews with physiotherapists, occupational therapists, music therapists and speech and language therapists.  Following my preliminary analysis, I predict components of music to be current in different medical rehabilitative therapies. That is because of the current tutorial curiosity into rhythm. I additionally foresee the music therapist not being important within the implementation of music-based therapies as a result of different therapies’ capability to implement music capabilities into their apply.

Literature overview

In wanting to acquire an insightful understanding of the analysis space, I pursued on-line databases and libraries with the key phrases ‘music’, ‘bodily restoration’, ‘rehabilitation’, ‘music remedy’ and ‘remedy’. After preliminary studying I observed widespread themes surrounding rhythm, motivation, coordination and neuroplasticity so added these phrases to my preliminary database search. Being an inherently interdisciplinary matter, I used to be capable of get hold of a wealthy vary of educational views, essentially the most related being from neuroscientists, psychologists, music therapists and musicologists. Supply sorts embody books, handbooks, systematic literature opinions and articles.

Bodily impairment might be topic to a large number of causes. Nonetheless, neuroscientists Alexa Riehle and Eilon Vaadia of their guide ‘Motor Cortex in Voluntary Actions: A Distributed System for Distributed Capabilities’argue that the restoration of motor operate is medicated by the mind’s capability to compensate forinjury and illness. This capability, referred to as neuroplasticity, permits neurons to compensate for broken areas within the mind, by adjusting exercise to kind new neural circuitries in substitute of broken ones (Riehle, Vaadia, 2003). Essentially the authors are proposing that no matter what causes bodily impairment, the mind’s capability to compensate allows rehabilitation. This implies therapies that goal to rehabilitate ought to deal with stimulation of neuroplasticity. Moreover, the guide examines ‘anatomical and physiological proof that demonstrates how the motor cortices immediately entry spinal twine mechanisms concerned within the era of motion’ (Riehle, Vaadia, 2003). This is able to counsel that in bodily impairment the broken space of the mind can be the motor cortices, being accountable for motion. In accordance with this literature, for music remedy to play a revered function in bodily rehabilitation it should have the ability to fulfil the aim of different therapies. Due to this fact, music would want to stimulate neuroplasticity in motor areas of the mind.

Within the‘Oxford Handbook Of Music Psychology’ psychologist Simone Dalla Belle takes a biomedical strategy to music intervention, exploring how the medium engages perceptual, cognitive, motor, sensorimotor processes and related neuronal circuitries (Belle, 2016). Belle continues, suggesting that musical coaching and early publicity may also encourageneuroplasticity in these areas. In context with Riehle and Vaadia, this means music has the potential to help neuroplasticity performing as stimuli. In conjunction, each sources counsel music can medicate motion areas within the mind by means of directed stimulation.

Alternatively, Straum (2000) in her systematic literature overview on ‘Music Based mostly Rehabilitation’, discovered essentially the most generally cited function of music in bodily rehabilitation was to facilitate bodily coordination. Rhythm and melodic continuity had been mentioned to assist the coordinator on motion patterns (Straum, 2000).  In the end, Straum asserts the best function of music being for motivation in repeated actions. Regardless of this, one would possibly argue towards the validity of the research as a result of solely 48% of experimental design research having significance and chosen sources relationship from the mid to late 1900s. With frequent scientific developments in analysis, this overview might not act as a reference to the present paradigm. Nonetheless, the overview does point out bodily coordination to be essentially the most generally cited function of music in bodily rehabilitation. This proves fascinating, because it suggests curiosity and reasoning in different fields to imagine there's a significance value researching. Moreover, bodily coordination is talked about considerably in later analysis, demonstrating music’s capability to assist facilitate coordination.

Neurological music therapist Dr Michael H. Thaut, nevertheless, has devoted his analysis to rhythmicapplications to neurologic rehabilitation of motor operate. In his most up-to-date guide ‘Rhythm, Music, And The Mind: Scientific Foundations And Scientific Functions’ Thaut proclaims rhythmic stimulation to have vital results as coordinative sensory enter, to entrain timing capabilities (Thaut, 2013).  He explores how anticipation can act as a steady time reference onto which motion can map a steady temporal template (Thaut, 2013). This operate of music and motion mapping is just like Straum’s view of music as a coordinator, validating his view and offering a purpose for additional analysis into this space. Not like Straum nevertheless, Thaut explores how this concept might be applied in therapeutic apply by means of ‘rhythmic auditory stimulation’ (RAS). RAS makes use of the identical rules using music and rhythm to offer anticipation, time reference, long run reminiscence stimulation which, consequently, will increase coordination (Thaut, 2013).  These capabilities primarily signify these of a cognitive nature, suggesting that cognitive group is the core function of music based mostly rhythmic interventions.

Alternatively, Musicologists Claire M. Weller and Felicity A. Baker of their literature overview ‘The function of music remedy in bodily rehabilitation’ argue bodily rehabilitation requires intensive emotional, bodily and cognitive exertion.  Moreover, a scarcity of motivation and emotional stability can impede rehabilitative potential. The paper means that if a affected person doesn't have the emotional energy to hold out bodily workout routines they won't do them and due to this fact restrict their rehabilitative potential (Weller and Baker, 2009). The prevalence being that when delivering remedy all of those variable elements should be thought-about to facilitate one of the best potential for the affected person. Weller and Baker counsel Music Remedy supplies this holistic care strategy in offering the bodily, emotional and social wants of the affected person (Weller and Baker, 2009).  This means that the function of music in bodily rehabilitation is exclusive and has the potential to be more practical if procedures had been standardized.

To conclude, it's clear that there's a rising physique of interdisciplinary analysis from revered teachers questioning the function of music in bodily rehabilitation. With regard to my analysis query, the literature I've reviewed means that music performs a ‘function’ in neuroplasticity, motor coordination, cognitive group and emotional assist. The present state of literature supplies an optimistic opinion on the function of music in bodily rehabilitation. Nonetheless, regardless of the rising physique of literature there may be nonetheless a necessity for that analysis to be applied and normal apply to be consolidated to maximise the potential of affected person independence. I hope in my dissertation to discover opinion on utilizing music in bodily rehabilitation as each remedy and a instrument in alternate medical therapies.

In consideration of moral pointers, I'm unable to undertake any major analysis involving victims of motor impairment. Consequently, I'll conduct a sequence of interviews with rehabilitation therapists. Every interview will likely be recorded (audio solely), transcribed and coded to extrapolate the required qualitative information helpful to the research. Their responses will stay nameless to make sure dependable information is collected, recordings will likely be used solely for my research and destroyed after and all contributors will likely be given the correct to withdraw from the interviews at any given level. In making certain management measures are in place I'll guarantee to interview a management group of therapists from completely different rehabilitation clinics. Regardless of not having the ability to contain the victims in my major analysis I've managed to acquire up to date secondary analysis involving sufferers and their care givers which I'll systematically overview.


I've composed beneath a easy analysis timetable to help in time administration of this undertaking.

Week Commencing

Actions to be taken

Time allowed 

Assets wanted 

Different preparations 


Refine sub questions 

6 hours 

Working hours 


Start secondary analysis Gathering proof portfolio 

four weeks 

Entry to library 


Organise major analysis interviews with SLT, OT, MT and Physio – Assemble emails and organize timetables 

three+ hours (dependant on response from contributors) 

E mail entry

Writing session 


Assemble interview questions 

eight hours 

Entry to library 


Start intensive Studying week to make sure the completion of proof portfolio 

15 hours 

Entry to library 


Format bibliography 

four hours 

Entry to library 



Recording and writing periods


New 12 months

Recording and writing periods


Analyse and summarise sources 

1 week 

Entry to library 


Conduct interviews 

1 day 

Room area and recording gear 


Start formulating notes into sections 

1 week

Entry to library 


Refine content material in every sub query 

four hours 

Working hours 


Draft sections and the put together desk of contents 

2 weeks 

Working hours 


Transcribe interviews 

1 week 

Working hours 


Analyse interview outcomes 

1 week 

Working hours 

Enterprise undertaking deadline 


End abstract and conclusion 

four hours 

Working hours 


Draft submitted 

Working hours 


Alter dissertation in accordance with suggestions notes

1 week

Working hours 


Proof studying and format 

1 week

Working hours 


Dissertation deadline 

Working hours 


  • Belle, S. (2016). The Oxford Handbook of Music Psychology (2 ed.). Oxford College, pp.32-35.
  • Chiang, Could Could. 2008. “Analysis on Music and Therapeutic in Ethnomusicology and Music Remedy.” M.A. thesis, College of Maryland, Faculty Park.
  • Harvey, A. W. (1980). The therapeutic function of music in particular schooling; Historic views. The Artistic Little one and Grownup Quarterly, 5 (three), 196-204.
  • Riehle, A. and Vaadia, E. (2005). Motor cortex in voluntary actions. Boca Raton: CRC Press.
  • Staum, M.J. (2000). Music for bodily rehabilitation: An evaluation of the literature from 1950–1999 and purposes for rehabilitation settings. In American Music Remedy Affiliation (Ed.), Effectiveness of music remedy procedures: Documen- tation of analysis and medical apply. (third ed., pp. 65–108). Silver Spring: American Music Remedy Affiliation.
  • Thaut, M. (2008). Rhythm, music and the mind: scientific foundations and medical purposes. New York, NY; London: Routledge.
  • Weller, C. and Baker, F. (2011). The function of music remedy in bodily rehabilitation: a scientific literature overview. Nordic Journal of Music Remedy, 20(1), pp.43-61.
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