Um espaço para partilha de ideias relacionadas com as práticas artísticas
e os seus efeitos terapêuticos, com destaque para a vertente musical

terça-feira, 22 de julho de 2014

Seven Ways That Music Benefits Your Health - part II

Lets see the effect music can have on a physical/ mental and psychological level. Take a look at the first part of this post here;

4) Makes you Happier
Music affects our emotional state, making you feel happy, ecstatic or even sad. According to a study, your brain releases dopamine, a feel-good chemical, when you listen to tunes that move you. Sometimes you also experience feeling of shivers or chills while listening to a particular track, this shows that brain releases large amount of dopamine, that gives you happiness and pleasure. So listening to music gives us the same hit of happiness that we would get from a piece of chocolate, sex or drugs.

While another study shows that Music with a quick tempo in a major key, brought about all the physical changes associated with happiness in listeners. In contrast, a slow tempo and minor key led to sadness.

Even when we listen to happy music with the intention to feel happy, it always works as opposed to simply listening to music without attempting to alter our mood.

5) Boosts your immune system and reduce Pain
Music has been found to reduce the levels of stress hormone, cortisol, which can weaken the immune system and is responsible for many illnesses. If you like to dance to uplifting music, then you are definitely on a path to better health. Scientists found that after listening to just 50 minutes of uplifting dance music, the levels of antibodies in participants’ bodies increased.

Different types of music might have different effect, but it also depends on your personal preference and what tunes resonate with your soul. What resonates with the spirit, does have a healing effect.

6) Reduces Depression and Anxiety
Listening to music has much more effect on the human mind and psyche. Researchers say that it can helpease anxiety among cancer patients, have positive effects on their mood, pain and improve quality of life. Researchers from Drexel University found that cancer patients who either listened to music or worked with a music therapist experienced a reduction in anxiety, had better blood pressure levels and improved moods.

7) Keeps an aging brain healthy
Having musical training could help keep the brain healthy as people grow older. Any kind of musical activity in life serves as a challenging cognitive exercise, making your brain sharper and more capable of dealing with challenges of aging.

Even someone with brain damage or dementia can recover memories through listening to music. It is ingrained in our deepest core of being, no matter the language, the sound and the rhythm resonates deep within. Like Kahlil Gibran puts it, “Music is the language of the spirit. It opens the secret of life bringing peace, abolishing strife.”

Info from The Mind Unleashed

segunda-feira, 21 de julho de 2014

Seven Ways That Music Benefits Your Health - part I

“I think music in itself is healing. It’s an explosive expression of humanity. It’s something we are all touched by. No matter what culture we’re from, everyone loves music.” 
Billy Joel

From reducing stress levels, to elevating your current state of consciousness, or taking you in a state of trance – it opens the doors to newer dimensions – dimensions which can only be accessed in a certain state of mind.

Music seems to be part of our biological heritage, because infants have excellent musical abilities, that’s why many to-be mothers sing to their unborn child, because they respond/dance to different types of music.

No human culture on earth has ever lived without it: Music has been used across different cultures for healing purpose. In ancient Greece, music was used to ease stress, promote sleep, and soothe pain. Native Americans and Africans used singing and chanting as part of their healing rituals, like the shamans. Even the Chinese character for medicine includes the character for music. Music and healing goes hand in hand.

Lets see the effect music can have on a physical/ mental and psychological level: 

1) Improves your visual and verbal skills
Early music education stimulates a child’s brain, leading to improved performance in verbal intelligence. This was suggested in a study among 4-to 6-year-olds who received only one month of musical training. It included training in rhythm, pitch, melody, voice and basic musical concepts, and this proved to have a “transfer effect,” enhancing their ability to understand words and explain their meaning.

Another study among 8 to 11-year-olds found that those who had extra-curricular music classes, developed higher verbal IQ, and visual abilities, in comparison to those with no musical training.

Even one-year-old babies who participate in interactive music classes with their parents smile more, communicate better and show earlier and more sophisticated brain responses to music.

2) Affects the heartbeat, pulse rate and blood pressure
As Nietzsche, said, ‘We listen to music with our muscles.’ Studies have proved that music can not only strengthen the heart but also improve the recovery of patients suffering from heart disease.

No matter the genre of music, listening to one’s favorite music releases endorphins in the brain that improves the vascular health. (Opera, classical and other types of ‘joyful’ music were more likely to stimulate endorphins as opposed to heavy metal)

At Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis, men and women who listened to music soon after undergoing cardiac surgery were less anxious and reported having less pain than those who just rested quietly.

At Massachusetts General Hospital, a nurse-led team found that heart patients confined to bed who listened to music for 30 minutes had lower blood pressure, slower heart rates, and less distress than those who didn’t listen to music.

The rhythm, the melody and harmony, all play a role in the emotional and cardiovascular response.

3) Improves sleep quality in students
Young or old, we all face sleep problems, in some cases, regularly, in other cases, when we’ve had an overactive day. Listening to soft music is indeed relaxing, hence improving the quality of your sleep.
Research shows that music can help reduce several factors known to interfere with sleep (including stress and anxiety), promote physical changes that support more restful sleep (such as lowered heart and respiratory rates), and aid in treatment of Insomnia.

segunda-feira, 7 de julho de 2014

Heartbeat Music Therapy

The heartbeat is the most basic, beautiful metronome. It is such a powerful, audible representation of life and of the human experience.

A mother of a patient once told me, “I’m afraid that I’m going to forget my daughter’s voice.” This comment compelled me to begin recording portions of music therapy sessions to proactively build a reservoir of positive and natural experiences with patients and their families.

When I began working in the CICU, NICU, PICU, it was more difficult to capture these moments, because some of these patients cannot speak, whether it is due to their age (infant), progression of illness, or intensive medical care (intubation).

I had heard of other music therapists in the medical field adding recordings of in uteroheartbeats to lullabies created with high-risk pregnant mothers to increase bonding between the mother and baby.

But it wasn’t until I saw a piece of news highlighting a mother’s response to hearing her bereaved daughter’s heart still beating inside a recipient that sparked a light bulb. With an improvised stethoscope microphone, I realized I could capture patients’ rhythmic essence – their heartbeat – and add it to music that is meaningful to the patient and his or her family.

Working from a clinical foundation of palliative care, a specialized care for people with serious illnesses, my aim has always been to enhance or improve the patient and families’ quality of life. At Cincinnati Children’s, family-centered care is at the root of every intervention we facilitate.

So I realized this music therapy intervention could potentially fulfill those needs as well, and assist with increased coping, anticipatory grief, and pre/post loss and bereavement.

I have found that the process of performing this intervention together with the family is more important than the product, but aesthetic beauty and musicianship is necessary to truly honor the patient and family. I will ask the family what songs are important to the patient and meaningful to them, then the chosen songs are added instrumentally over the beat of the patient’s heart.

The resulting songs are as individualistic as the patients and families I serve and the outcome is a preservation of the patient’s legacy in the form of music.

Families in a situation in which their loved one has a serious illness feel an overwhelming sense of powerlessness. Giving them something proactive and productive to focus on helps to normalize the situation and gives them a little bit of control. This is really the foundation of music therapy: utilizing music to help and support patients and family members address their emotional and social needs and improve quality of life.

I recently helped create a video which explains this heartbeat music therapy and how it has helped one family. You can hear the songs the patient’s father and younger brother chose together, and how the patient’s heartbeat and their love will never stop.

“So I think there is again this word love. It’s capable of so many transformations that can be then something quite practical. Music is the one way in which you can imagine that world—Music that speaks to the human soul, but originates somewhere else, that tells the music, the human soul, that you originate somewhere else. This is the voice of home.” 

Robbins, C. (2005). Personal Interview. Nordoff-Robbins Institute. New York, NY: NYU

terça-feira, 17 de junho de 2014

Therapy dog helping children with their fear of the dentist

Many people, especially children, dread going to the dentist. To help calm the nerves of some of his young, nervous patients Dr. Paul Weiss has trained his golden retriever Brooke to act as a therapy dog.

Weiss enrolled Brooke in a two-week boot camp and then had her certified by Therapy Dogs International in May. With her certification Brooke was brought on as the newest team member of Weiss’ pediatric dental practice in Williamsville, New York.

Each Thursday, the 4-year-old golden retriever is on hand to help comfort nervous patients. “If a child is afraid of getting her teeth cleaned, Brooke can sit next to them in the chair and the kid can have their hand on the dog,” said Weiss. Brooke also works the reception area to greet the patients.

Weiss takes proper precautions with Brooke. All patients are notified ahead of time that Brooke will be present. Therefore anyone with an allergy or reason to avoid dogs will know. Brooke also is bathed before each visit and the office is cleaned thoroughly after she leaves.

Many patients love having Brooke around and try to schedule their appointments for Thursdays. “If demand increases we may have to up her hours,” said Weiss.

Info from Life with dogs

sábado, 31 de maio de 2014

Skoog: The easy-to-play instrument for everyone.

Music-making is an important part of every child’s education. The benefits are well-recognised and include improved concentration, language, sympathetic engagement and social interaction. 

A new musical instrument has been created specifically for disabled users: the SKOOG. This video gives a quick overview of what it is, how it works and has some clips of users making music with the skoog.

Tap it. Shake it. Squeeze it. Give it a little twist.
The Skoog software allows you to customise the instrument's sensitivity to suit your playing style, which means that anyone can rock out to their favourite tunes, or use programmes like GarageBand to open up a new world of amazing music and sound.

Skoog plugs straight into your computer’s USB port.
Dynamic sensors within the Skoog are cleverly arranged to respond to your every move, no matter how gentle or forceful you are feeling.

Play the Skoog with any part of your body!
Designed to adapt and fit with your own natural movements, the Skoog sets you free to explore sounds and music in your own way. By adjusting the Skoogmusic software you can challenge yourself and grow as a musician. Whether you have very limited mobility or bags of agility, you can make your Skoog fit your style.

How to play the Skoog?
You play the Skoog by physically interacting with it. Dynamic sensors within your Skoog are cleverly arranged to respond to your every move, no matter how gentle or forceful you are feeling. By pressing, squeezing, rubbing, stroking, tilting or shaking your Skoog in different ways you control how the different instruments sound.

Info from
Visit to find out more

domingo, 25 de maio de 2014

APCC vence Festival Europeu da Canção - vídeo

A Associação de Paralisia Cerebral de Coimbra venceu o Festival Europeu da Canção para pessoas com deficiência, em Estocolmo, no dia 2 de Maio de 2014.

Músicos: Paulo Jesus, Pedro Falcão, Paulo Casal e Márcio Reis. 

Diretor artístico: Paulo Jacob. 

Chefe da delegação portuguesa: Rui Ramos, ARCIL (Associação para a Recuperação de Cidadãos Inadaptados da Lousã).

domingo, 18 de maio de 2014

APCC vence Festival Europeu da Canção

Paulo Jesus, Pedro Falcão, Paulo Casal e Márcio Reis venceram, em 2 de maio de 2014, o Festival Europeu da Canção para a Pessoa com Deficiência Mental. 
Representaram a APCC – Associação de Paralisia Cerebral de Coimbra e Portugal, em Estocolomo, Suécia, depois de terem conquistado, em 20 de outubro de 2012, o Festival Nacional da Canção para Pessoas com Deficiência, na Lousã.

Acompanhados pelo professor Paulo Jacob apresentaram «Mundo de Contradições» que, com letra de Paulo Casal, conquistou o júri e lhes permitiu viver uma experiência memorável. Foi com este mesmo trabalho que Paulo Jesus e Pedro Falcão se estrearam em palco.

Nas palavras de Paulo Jacob foi para todos «uma honra» participar num festival europeu no qual competiram 12 concorrentes. Representaram a instituição e um país que, segundo disse o apresentador do festival, tem uma «língua exótica, suave e agradável».

Os colaboradores da APCC receberam, em 4 de maio, estes vencedores que chegaram a Portugal visivelmente felizes e orgulhosos por todo o trabalho desenvolvido.

Foi a segunda vez que a APCC venceu o Festival Europeu da Canção. Este é, aliás, o segundo título conquistado por Márcio Reis, pois em 2005, e acompanhado por Rita Joana, sagrou-se vencedor, em Áustria, com «Maior que o Mundo».


Notícia de APC_Coimbra