Neurologic Music Therapy Now Available at CHI Memorial


CHI Memorial is now offering neurologic music therapy (NMT) to people in the hospital to aid in the recovery process. NMT is a form of rehabilitative treatment to assist stroke, trauma, and Parkinson’s patients suffering from neurologic deficits in speech and sensorimotor processing. Services are offered by Alexandria (Lexi) Rodriguez, MT-BC, board-certified music therapist at CHI Memorial. 

“Many people think of music as entertainment, but studies on how music impacts brain health have shown important advances in how music therapy provided by a board-certified music therapist (MT-BC) can be used in medical settings to improve health outcomes,” explained Chyela Rowe, Ph.D., manager of Arts Therapies & Well-Being at CHI Memorial.

 “Neurologic music therapy is an emerging branch of rehabilitation medicine that we are pleased to offer patients in their recovery as part of the advanced stroke care we provide at CHI Memorial,” shared Thomas Devlin, MD, PhD, medical director, CHI Memorial Neuroscience Institute. “Some NMT therapies have proven to be effective in altering brain plasticity, such as recovering normal gait in walking, which is often impaired by stroke.”

A physician or other care team member can refer a patient for NMT to work toward the physical rehabilitation goals. The board-certified music therapist designs and provides the music to accompany the therapeutic plan allowing patients to receive expertise from the physical therapy and/or occupational therapy team and assured proper guidance in using music to help them reach their goals quicker. 

“Neurologic music therapy techniques come from an evidence-based professional field using music-based interventions to reach the non-musical cognitive, sensorimotor, speech-language, and social emotional goals patients have,” said Alexandria Rodriguez, MT-BC, board-certified music therapist at CHI Memorial. “It’s amazing to watch a patient’s face light up when they hear their favorite song and are able to tap a toe, sing along, or move an arm and do something that they may not have been able to do as easily without the music. In those little moments, there is big change.”