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Charity offers neurologic music therapy to people with acquired neurological disabilities

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Specialist Neurologic Music Therapy (NMT) is now available as part of a multidisciplinary therapy offering at Queen Elizabeth’s Foundation for Disabled People (QEF) in Surrey.

One of the expert services the charity provides Care and Neuro Rehabilitation, supporting people in rebuilding core skills after an acquired brain injury, stroke, spinal injury, or neurological illness. 

From April, neurologic music therapy will be delivered in partnership with CHROMA, the leading arts therapies provider.

It will be available alongside physiotherapy, psychology, speech and language therapy, and occupational therapy at the charity’s Care and Rehabilitation Centre. 

Jenny de Canha, Head of Clinical Services at QEF’s Care and Rehabilitation Centre said: “Neurologic music therapy is a great addition to our therapy provision, allowing for alternative rehabilitation practices to be considered for our clients.

“I am excited to be working with CHROMA and look forward to how their expertise may influence client outcomes and goals.”

Music connects and activates areas of the human brain, creating an automatic response, so a pre-existing love of music is not necessary for NMT to be effective.

This allows unaffected parts of the brain to be used to re-learn functions such as movement or speech, creating new neural pathways.

It is a gentle way to approach and increase engagement with therapy and will be especially useful for those who are struggling to make progress in their day-to-day therapy sessions and those struggling with low mood.

Using a series of music-based interventions that are informed by the neuroscience of music and neuro rehabilitation, it can help to address functional changes for people with neurological disorders.

Melody, rhythm and beat can all be used to stimulate, shape and change the flow of movement, speech and cognitive skills.

Rhythm can be especially effective as it provides a metronome ‘structure’ which can help to regulate speech patterns and the speed and flow of the process of walking.

Initially available as a 6-month pilot project thanks to funding from The National Lottery Community Fund and The Community Foundation for Surrey.

The aim is to work with 20-25 clients a month who are in the service for a minimum of six weeks.

Initially available during 1:1 therapy sessions, there will also be the option to set up group sessions at a later stage in the pilot so more people can benefit. 

Daniel Thomas, Managing Director at CHROMA said: “We are delighted to be working with the QEF team, and grateful for National Lottery Funding, making it possible to do so.

“QEF have a long history of being an outstanding provider of neurorehabilitation and their passion for excellence underpins this new partnership.

“We are looking forward to this being the first 6 months in a long and sustained clinical partnership, based on great outcomes for their clients.” 

Robust outcome data will be collated for all clients involved in the pilot project, with a view to demonstrating the positive impact NMT has on supporting clients to achieve their therapy goals and to hopefully extend funding for the NMT programme at QEF. 

Visit www.qef.org.uk/professionals/crc to find out more about QEF’s Care and Rehabilitation Centre.

Email neurorehab@qef.org.uk or call 01372 84 11 11 to discuss referring someone with funding to the service. 

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