Music therapy helping patients regain speech skills - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Music therapy helping patients regain speech skills

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB)-- It looks and sounds like music class, but it's so much more.

"We're not worried at all how well someone plays music or how well someone's singing or playing an instrument," said Donna Brown, owner of Louisville Music Therapy.

Music therapy is intentional. It's about reaching a patient's goal.

Walking is tiring for Zoey, but using a drum keeps it fun and focused. "I had her using the drum as a motivator to get her to walk across the room, and she loves playing the drum so that really got her to move," Brown said. 

Zoey is not the only one who loves a good beat. A passion for music plays an important role across generations. Court Broecker suffered a stroke six years ago. 

"He does everything but talk," said Court's wife, Mary. 

"It can be hard to initiate those useful phrases that you don't think about that you need everyday," said Chris Millett, a music therapist. 

Court sat silently next to his wife for several years until one day he sang. "Over the phone he sang 'Happy Birthday.' Nobody could believe it, because he wasn't talking at all," she said.

"Your brain will actually hop straight into the circuitry and override and go straight into singing. It's just a thing that a lot of people can still do," Millett said. 

Music therapy teaches Court to sing useful phrases and slowly removes the melody."It has really been helpful to us as a couple to just say a few words," Mary said.

It's a way for Court to express himself when he is at a loss for words.

"You see they can do that now. They've really mastered that skill or they're doing these things with a smile on their face instead of it causing pain," Millett said.

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