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

sexta-feira, 23 de dezembro de 2011

12-year-old boy finds rapping eases stuttering

Written by Angela Mulholland,

Like a lot of 12 year-olds, Jake Zeldin is a fan of Canadian rapper Drake. But unlike other 12-year-olds, Jake has actually had the chance to rap with him. Impressive enough; but what's more impressive is what rapping does for Jake.
Jake Zeldin has struggled with a significant stutter all his life. But when he starts to rap, that stutter disappears.

Communicating has been a struggle for Zeldin since he first started to speak. But ask him to rap one of his own written songs, and the sentences and rhymes tumble out easily, one right after the other.
Zeldin's mom Robyn says her son figured out how rap relaxes him fairly recently. "He discovered about two years ago that he has this ability – that when he raps he has fluid speech, which is incredible because sometimes it's a challenge to speak," she told CTV's Canada AM Monday. "Rapping has really helped. He's incorporated it in with book reports at school and with talking, so it's amazing for him."

Two weeks ago, Jake went with his brother Cole to a concert by rapper Tyga, where Drake and fellow rapper T-Pain were special guests. The brothers decided to see if they could get backstage, where they ran into T-Pain who they had met the previous summer at another concert. T-Pain gave them a hug and introduced them to Drake. The next thing Jake knew, he was showing off some of his rhymes to one of his idols.

He has been in speech therapy since his preschool years, but with none of the therapies working, he and his mother decided to stop for a while. "We haven't done any therapy for the last two years. We decided to take a little bit of break. But we may visit it again," Robyn said.

Stuttering remains largely a mystery to brain researchers. For some reason, most childhood stutterers recover with no help at all, with as many as three-quarters outgrowing the condition.
Some stutterers find they can speak perfectly well in one language but stutter in another. Others find they don't stutter when they sing, or when they speak to young children. And for still others, the condition clears up when they act on stage and take on a different persona.
While stuttering was once thought to be psychological condition caused by anxiety issues, it's now recognized as a neurological condition stemming from an as-yet undetermined brain wiring issues.
The long-held suspicion of a genetic link is bearing out: in recent years, a number of genetic mutations involved in stuttering have been identified. But since these mutations account for only about 10 per cent of cases, more still wait to be identified.

Robyn says for now, she and her son are working on using singing and rapping to help Jake communicate. Jake has been writing songs, putting his music and videos online under the stage name "Lil Jz," and dreaming of becoming a professional rapper.
Why rapping helps, his mother Robyn doesn't know. But she says they're going to use it as best they can. "He has this gift; he has a different way to communicate. I think it's amazing and we're just going to try to keep it up."

Read more and watch the video at CTV News

sábado, 17 de dezembro de 2011

Music Therapy and Speech-Language Pathology: a collaboration

Music and Speech: How are these forms of communication related?
There are many similarities between speech/language and music. For example, in both speech and music, frequency, duration, and timbre elements unfold over time to convey a message. Both of these communication tools utilize prosodic information, such as inflection and phrasing, to help portray the meaning of this message (Donnelly, 2001).
The musical aspects of language include melodic contour, timbre variations, motherese or infant-directed speech, rhythm, and nonverbal aspects of language.

Because these forms are so closely related, a successful collaboration of two therapies related to music and speech — Speech-Language Pathology and Music Therapy — would be extremely beneficial for the client.

What is Speech-Language Pathology?
According to the ASHA Website,
Working with the full range of human communication and its disorders, speech-language pathologists (SLPs):
  • Evaluate and diagnose speech, language, cognitive-communication and swallowing disorders
  • Treat speech, language, cognitive-communication and swallowing disorders in individuals of all ages, from infants to the elderly
  • Examples of speech and language disorders: Articulation disorders, phonological disorders, speech/language impairment, and/or receptive/expressive language difficulty. Additionally, the SLP may work on expressive or receptive language difficulties related to a hearing loss (client may be wearing a hearing aid or cochlear implant).
What is music therapy?
According to the AMTA Website,
Music Therapy is the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music therapy program.

So, why would music therapy services be beneficial in terms of SLP collaboration?
Knowing that one auditory training task could transfer to and enhance other auditory activities, there are many implications for using music therapy to address language and speech goals.

Music is:
  • Structured
  • Predictable
  • Repetitive
Songs and instrument play can be used to address:
  • Oral motor skills
  • Speech articulation
  • Language Acquisition
  • Length of Utterance
  • Social Skills
  • Language concepts
  • …and more!
The majority of music is structured, predictable, and repetitive and can provide rhythmic and melodic cues. Vocal flexibility, vocal imitation, and vocabulary reinforced through song lyrics, are all speech goals that can be addressed with music. These goals can be addressed through rhythm, rhyme, turn-taking (just like in conversation), and repetition. Relaxation exercises, song articulation experiences, and word/phrase rhythm chanting experiences are all strategies in which music can be used to address speech goals (Zoller, 1991). Music can assist breath and muscle control (Peters, 2000; Cohen, 1994), help the patient practice receptive and expressive language skills (Miller, 1982), and enhance articulation skills (Zoller, 1991). Self-esteem, confidence, attention, and listening skills can all be enhanced through music, as well.
Pairing Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) strategies with musical strategies has also been shown to help with social communication skills (Herman 1985). Signing and manual communication systems can be used to express song lyrics and signs paired with singing can be used together for total communication experiences (Darrow, 1987a). Studies have shown that children with autism learned more signs when they were paired with music and speech than when they were taught with music alone or speech alone (Buday, 1995).

Other methods to incorporate speech and language goals and music may include:
  • Melodic Intonation Therapy (MIT)
  • Speech Stimulation (STIM)
  • Therapeutic Singing (TS)

In order to incorporate and implement some of the patient’s speech goals into the music therapy session, collaboration is a necessity. According to Register (2002), of the 695 music therapists questioned, 44.6% said that they collaborate with SLPs. Collaborating with the family, educators, doctors, speech pathologists, psychologists, therapists, social workers and other professionals that are involved in the patient’s daily life is key to their language-learning success (Rychener Hobson, 2006). Making sure everyone is on the same page and supporting the patient’s needs with a wide variety of specialties and activities can truly make an impact on the patient’s improvement.

quinta-feira, 8 de dezembro de 2011

Skoog: a new kind of instrument designed for children with additional support needs

A short documentary piece on the Skoog, a new musical instrument. Specifically designed for children with additional support needs the Skoog is an innovative new resource for teachers and pupils alike.

The Skoog is a new musical instrument designed to empower those unable to play traditional instruments. The Skoog is a soft, squeezable object that simply plugs straight into your computer or laptop's USB port. By touching, pressing, squashing, twisting or tapping the Skoog you can play a wide range of instruments, intuitively.

The Skoog enables children to experience and play musical sounds for themselves. Designed specifically to meet the needs of anyone who cannot play a traditional musical instrument due to any combination of physical, mental or behavioural difficulties. The Skoog has been thoroughly road tested in special needs, music therapy and healthcare environments and has been widely praised, with highly positive feedback from staff and pupils alike.

domingo, 4 de dezembro de 2011

Musicoterapia encantou os mais velhos

Dezenas de aposentados, alunos da Academia Sénior e alguns colaboradores e curiosos mais jovens, juntaram-se na igreja do convento Corpus Christi, em Gaia, para uma sessão de riso e musicoterapia.

Notícia acedida em RTP