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.
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
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.
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.
ABOUT JACQUELINE CHOW
Jacqueline is the founder of Con Brio Music Therapy, Registered Music Therapist (RMT- Australia), adjunct lecturer of Early Childhood music (NIEC), certified Music Rhapsody teacher, mother of two, 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.
INDIVIDUAL MUSIC THERAPY SESSIONS
Your child will be seen for 1:1 individualized music therapy sessions weekly for a course of 10-12 sessions. The first two to three sessions will be assessment sessions to identify your child's strengths and needs, and to set goals accordingly. This is followed by weeks of treatment sessions. Evaluation of the child's progress will be done after each session and a segment of 12 sessions to determine if the goals are achieved. New goals will be set if deemed appropriate. Otherwise, service will be terminated.
MUSIC THERAPY GROUPS
If your child has a group of friends of similar needs and/or abilities, I am happy to provide music therapy sessions in a group setting at your convenient time and location.
Drop me a message if you would like to be a part of these groups:
1. For new moms and dads in strengthening the bonds between you and your infants with the use of music.
2. For parents and children with developmental delays, Down syndrome, William syndrome, and/or multiple disabilities.
3. For parents and children with autism.
I have had vast experiences in giving public workshops to allied health professionals, medical staff, teachers and parents for the purpose of training and professional development.
Examples of topics include:
1. Introduction to Music Therapy
2. Integrative model- collaboration with teachers and other allied health therapists on joint goals
3. Simple song writing techniques
4. Music and movement lesson plans
5. Self-care/ Preventing burn-out with the use of music
6. Music and relaxation
7. Using music in the classroom and beyond
8. Basic instrumental skills (guitar/ ukulele/ drumming/ vocal)
9. Music Therapy and autism
10. Music Therapy and ADHD
11. Music Therapy and neuro-rehabilitation
I am happy to collaborate with your organizations on topics that suit your needs.
It was always a pleasure working with Jacqueline. We ran Music and Language/Social Skills classes together and I watched her calm children with behavioural/anxiety issues so quickly with her music. Therapy sessions were always enjoyable. Her students were given opportunity to work on their communication skills through techniques such as song writing and even as simple as learning to make choices using musical instruments and songs. Jacqueline provided the space for her students to grow and learn, with her professionalism and passion for helping both verbal and non verbal students achieve their communication goals. By the end of the school year, it was always amazing to see our students' progress. To name a few, our students were able to participate for a full 45 minute session, greet appropriately, take turns, play musical instruments to specified tempo and volume by following instructions and paying attention to storytime. These communication goals would without doubt be much harder to achieve without Jacqueline's involvement. Thank you for doing what you do Jacqueline and with all my heart, I wish you only the best in your career as a Music Therapist.
Speech and Language Therapist
Jacqueline is a wonderful music therapist! The resources that she brings into class are always age appropriate and are all designed to improve sensory motor planning and finger strength of our students! The diversity of percussion instruments provided allow our students to participate in choice making and improve eye-hand coordination as well. Her knowledge of how to facilitate parent child engagement during therapy sessions brings fun and laughter to all participants and helps enhance bonding among the younger children and their caregivers. Our students and their families look forward to music therapy sessions every week! Additionally, communication and attention span of the students are being promoted when they are engaged during the sessions. The various improvisations and spontaneous creativity of her music therapy sessions enable us to see disabilities turn into abilities and it has definitely been such a privilege to work with her and learn from her.
En attended Jacqueline’s music sessions since he was four months old. We both enjoyed Jacqueline’s interesting and engaging sessions very much. The thing that impressed me the most was how Jacqueline can follow children’s lead and incorporate any baby sounds into music. It proves that young babies can make music too!