I recently attended the 20th Anniversary Forum of The Institute for Music and Neurologic Function. It celebrated the science of Music and The Brain in Human development, health and healing. It was so inspiring and helpful for my work with the Stories Love Music program. There were many panels of both Neuro-Scientists and Music Therapists. The keynote was given by Daniel Levitan, who wrote "This is Your Brain on Music". Micky Hart of The Grateful Dead, spoke about his work with scientists on Rhythm and The Brain.
The Day long conference covered many topics in this arena: Music's effect on the brain, Rhythms in the brain, "Entrainment" (the synchronization of organisms to an external rhythm) in Music Therapies, Cognitive function, language skills, memory recovery, and Emotional regulation through music. Some of the big thoughts of the day were: Both Scientists and Music Therapists in the room agreed, that Music effects the brain and healing in powerful ways and with a regularity that medicine is not always able to do.
The top three goals in Music Therapies are:
*Garner Attention, *Regulate Moods and *Stimulate Arousal.When these occur, all areas of the brain are stimulated and healing begins.
Insurance companies and FDA alike need to recognize the validity of this work and doctors have much to learn about mindfulness, empathy and "slow listening"; all of which can come through music therapies.
Every panelist of the day paid homage to the memory and life's work of Oliver Sacks, who worked closely with this Institute over the years. It was an inspiring day. I will post a 2nd blog soon with more details of the conference and how it integrates into my program. Thanks for reading!
Executive Director of Stories Love Music, Singer, Story Teller, Coach and Activist.