Music Therapy and Dementia

For people with neurological diagnoses, neurologic music therapy can provide opportunities for:

  • Improving gait (velocity, stride, length, and cadence)
  • Decreasing risk of falls
  • Regaining language and vocal fluency
  • Improving speech intelligibility and breath support
  • Increased attention and focus
  • Retraining visual neglect
  • increasing memory recall

NMTS offers neurologic music therapy at:

Sierra Music Therapy Clinic 

85 Washington St

Reno, NV 89503

Hours by appointment, call 775-324-5521 or for next steps

Neurologic Music Therapy (NMT) can help people with neurologic disease improve speech, language, cognitive ability, and sensorimotor skills. Aspects of music activate different areas of the brain that can help with rehabilitation. Rhythm, for example, is closely tied to motor function, and for those with gait challenges, hearing a steady rhythm can dramatically improve gait. For those who have expressive aphasia, or difficulty producing speech, many are able to recover language through singing phrases while tapping a steady rhythm. This technique is called “melodic intonation therapy.” For more examples of how NMT has helped others, please visit the MedRhythms website and view the patient profile video stories.

NMT Research

NMT techniques are based on research of how music is perceived in the brain; and thus, how it can be used to impact nonmusical brain function. Neurologic music therapists are trained to use music to regain brain functions that have been lost or impacted by neurologic disease.

From Singing to Speaking: Facilitating Recovery from Nonfluent Aphasia

Rhythmic Auditory Stimulation in Rehabilitation of Movement Disorders: A Review of Current Research

Neurologic Music Therapy in Cognitive Rehabilitation

Neurologic Music Therapy in Stroke Rehabilitation

Neurologic Music Therapists work with the following populations:

  • Stroke
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Dementia
  • Autism

American Parkinson’s Disease Association

American Parkinson’s Disease Association Resource Page


“Music therapy has proven to be particularly effective for people with Parkinson’s disease. Research in both music therapy and in neuroscience has shown that music can affect function in profound ways. In fact, some neuroscience studies have shown that certain types of music stimulate the production of dopamine and serotonin — two neurotransmitters (chemicals produced by brain cells) that are diminished in PD patients.”


NMTS Blog Posts on Neurological Issues

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