CON BRIO MUSIC THERAPY

Holistic, eclectic and strength-based approach

Where words fail, music speaks.

Hans Christian Andersen

 

WHAT IS MUSIC THERAPY?

Music therapy is the scientific and intentional use of music interventions within a therapeutic relationship towards observable or measurable functional, educational, rehabilitative or well-being outcomes by a university trained and credentialed professional. – Association for Music Therapy (Singapore) 

Registered music therapists draw on an extensive body of research and are bound by a code of ethics that informs their practice. - Australian Music Therapy Association

 

WHY MUSIC THERAPY?

Music is not just fun and pleasing to the ears. Its unique properties bring countless benefits to our health and well-being. Most importantly, music activates the whole brain! 

Research in Barcelona has shown that fetuses in the wombs respond to music as early as 16 weeks gestation (Lopez-Teijon, Garcia-Faura & Prats-Galino, 2015). They believe that music induces a response through vocalization movements because it activates brain circuits that stimulate language and communication. This research has suggested that learning in a fetus begins as early as 16 weeks gestation, and fetus learns from listening to mommy's heartbeat, talking and singing voice.

 

Numerous research in music therapy, premature infants and the song of kin have been done in the NICU in promoting growth in infants, and emotional well-being in their parents (Loewy, 2015). Research has also indicated that singing to our babies create bonds and stimulate development. The effect of infant-directed singing is as effective as book reading, playing with toys, but far more effective then listening to prerecorded music (De l'Etoile et al, 2017). This highlights the lifelong effects music has in our development.  

References

De l’Etoilea, S., Behuraa, S., Zopluoglu, C. (2017). Acousticparameters of infant-directed singing in mothers of          infants with down syndrome. Infant Behavior and Development, 49, 151–160

Loewy, J.V. (2015). NICU music therapy: song of kin as critical lullaby in research and practice. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1337, 178–185.

Lopez-Teijon, M., Garcia-Faura, A. & Prats-Galino, A. (2015). Fetal Facial expression in response to intravaginal music emission. Ultrasound, 23(4), 216-223

https://www.scmp.com/lifestyle/health/article/1864725/new-study-16-week-old-foetus-responds-music-played-through-mothers

 

Scientists have studied our brains under fMRI scans when we are listening to music. Our brain scans light up like fireworks, supporting the idea that music activates the whole brain (Alluri et al., 2013) .

The processing of musical pulse recruits motor areas in the cerebellum and cerebrum, that explains why music and movement are closely intertwined.

An example would be how we walk to the background music when we are shopping, or how we tend to run faster in the gym when listening to upbeat music. In music therapy, persons with strokes are found to have improved cadence, gait velocity, stride lengths and symmetry when walking with music using a technique called Rhythmic Auditory Stimulation in neurologic music therapy (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4905905/).

Limbic areas of the brain, known to be associated with emotions, were also found to be involved in rhythm and tonality processing.For example, songs with a minor key or slower pulse seem to be more sentimental; whereas songs with a major key or faster tempo seem to be more happier and festive.

 

Processing of timbre is associated with activation in the so-called default mode network, which is assumed to be associated with mindwandering and creativity.

References

Alluri et al. (2013). From Vivaldi to Beatles and back: Predicting lateralized brain responses to music, NeuroImage, 83, 627–636.

 

MUSIC ACTIVATES THE WHOLE BRAIN

A person with Broca's Aphasia can't talk, but can sing

Music has the ability to access and stimulate brain regions that may not be accessible through other modalities.


A person with Broca's aphasia may have lost the ability to talk but is able to sing, and eventually communicate using speech again! Speech is processed in the left hemispheres of our brain whereas music is processed in ALL areas. Alternative neuropathways for speech are created using a technique called Melodic Intonation Therapy. 

 
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ABOUT JACQUELINE CHOW

Jacqueline is the founder of Con Brio Music Therapy, Registered Music Therapist (RMT- Australia), adjunct lecturer and curriculum developer of early childhood music (National Institute Of Early Childhood Development, NIEC), certified Music Rhapsody teacher, mother of three, with experience working with children of all abilities in children’s hospitals from Australia, early intervention, and special education settings in Hong Kong and Singapore. 

Jacqueline graduated from the University of Queensland with Bachelor of Music (Music Therapy) Class I Honours in 2010. Musically, she completed her AMusA Piano with the renowned pianist Miss Pamela Page. She was also trained in conducting and Kodaly. For Music Therapy, she studied from Dr Felicity Baker, Dr Jeanette Kennelly and Dr Vicky Abad. She has received advance training in Neurologic Music Therapy, and NICU music therapy training course - First Sounds: Rhythm, Breath and Lullaby International Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Training. Her professional practice includes early intervention, special education, pediatric rehabilitation, burns and surgical, and pediatric mental health. 

Publication:

Chow, J., & Lauw, E. (2020). Singapore. In P. Kern (Ed.), Colors of us: Early Childhood music therapy (pp.286-293). De La Vista Publisher. www.imagine.musictherapay.biz

Curriculum developed: 

 

“Using Music In The Infant Classroom”– CPD– NIEC in 2020

https://www.niec.edu.sg/courses/using-music-in-the-infant-classrooms/

“Using Music For Classroom Management” – CPD– NIEC in 2020

https://niec.edu.sg/courses/using-music-for-classroom-management/

Workshops conducted: 

Wellness/ Self-care Workshop

  • "Self-care with Music"- Bank Julius Baer - 10 October 2022 

  • "Self-Care through music- Be your own Song Writer" - Music Therapy Day - Association For Music Therapy, Singapore - 28 May 2022

  • "A Breather with Music- For the body, mind and soul – Discovery Talk, National Technology Singapore - 29 November 2021

  • “Self-care with music for staff” – NCSS on 12 March 2020

  • “Joy Through Music/Melody” – Caregiving with Joy Seminar at Yishun Community Hospital in October 2019

  • “A Lunch Date with a Music Therapist” – Arts&Health Festival – Ng Teng Fong General Hospital and Jurong Community Hospital in 2017

Teachers/ Parents/ Therapists' Training

  • "Reflect, Learn and Grow- a workshop based on 10 things I wish I knew as a music therapist 10 years ago" - Music Therapy- Special Ed Retreat- Association For Music Therapy, Singapore - 15 June 2022 

  • "Play- from the perspective of a music therapist" –  SaccaPlaySeries – 11 December 2021

  • "Bonding Through Music- Using Music At Home For Social-Emotional Support" –  Panelist – PCF Parents Conference 2021- , Sparkle Tots on 26 November 2021

  • “Using Music Intentionally In The Classroom To Promote Engagement and learning” –  Developmental Clinic, Sparkle Tots on 7 August 2021

  • “Using Music In The Infant Classroom”– CPD– NIEC– Ongoing

  • “Using Music For Classroom Management” – CPD– NIEC– Ongoing

  • “Basic Ukulele In the Preschool Classrooms” – Bambini Childcare on 15 March 2021

  • “Music Strategies and Basic Ukulele Skills in Supporting Learning in the Special Ed Classroom” – Cerebral Palsy Centre on 17 and 18 March 2020

  • “Interacting with Babies” – NIEC Staff Training at NP Campus in August 2019

  • “Music Strategies to support Learning and Emotional Well-being in the SPED Classroom – Cerebral Palsy Centre in September 2019

  • “Interacting with Babies” – NIEC Staff Training at NP Campus in September 2019

Staff-bonding

  • “Embracing Diversity” – NIEC Staff Training at NP Campus in January 2019

 
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