Music therapy at U of L is healing what medicine can't - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Music therapy at U of L is healing what medicine can't

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Experts say music therapy is a growing field with a strong track record of improving lives and the music or instrument of choice varies from patient to patient. Experts say music therapy is a growing field with a strong track record of improving lives and the music or instrument of choice varies from patient to patient.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- From Autism to Alzheimer's, music is healing what medicine can't. In some cases, patients and students both are hearing the benefits of music therapy.

"Here's a little song that I wrote, you might want to sing it note for note," sang a music Therapist.

The words to this song may sound like music to the ear for most people. But it's more like medicine for the soul and brain for 21-year-old autism patient Terrance Davis.

"He could not communicate verbally but he could communicate through pictures," said Tina Davis.

Davis is Terrance's mother and said their lives changed two years ago when he was introduced to music therapy.

"Wow! Was there ever a breakthrough," Davis said.

These days, Terrance is talking, singing, even playing in his own band.

"This is all since the music," said Davis.

The use of music therapy has been so successful that it is a popular field at the University of Louisville.

"We are the only undergraduate training program in the state," said Darcy DeLoach, Director of Music at U of L.

Deloach said the sound of music is helping a wide range of patients.

"I always use the example that we work with birth through death," DeLoach said. She added music therapy is a growing field with a strong track record of improving lives and the music or instrument of choice varies from patient to patient.

"Sometimes we will work with the piano, other times we will work with the guitar or the drums, singing songs, moving, sometimes dance is involved," DeLoach explained. 

"Don't worry, be happy," said Davis. 

Terrance's song of choice is a classic.

"He loves that song, he loves that song," said Davis. 

In fact, the song and his favorite therapist even helped him recover after a frightening seizure.

"I do remember that time. Probably a little bit scary for everyone," U of L's primary music therapist Adrienne Steiner said.

"He was not sitting up, he was in his bed. I looked over at him while she sang that song to him and he smiled and I cried," said Davis.

The U of L Music Therapy Clinic charges for sessions based on a sliding fee scale. That allows low income clients to pay reduced rates, which are subsidized by charitable donations. If anyone would like to contribute to this fund, you can contact Amy Cuenca at 502-852-0516.

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