Neurologic Music Therapy To Improve Speaking Voice In Individuals Diagnosed With Parkinson’s Disease

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Sarah Swann Solberg (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site:
Christine Pollard Leist

Abstract: Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disease that affects dopamine production in the motor areas of the brain leading to impairments in muscular control (Parkinson’s Foundation, 2018). Impairments in motor functioning can also impact respiratory control and voice production (America Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 2018). Neurologic Music Therapy (NMT) techniques have demonstrated the ability of music-based interventions to improve maximum phonation time, voice quality, articulatory control, and quality of life in people with PD (Azekawa, & LaGasse, 2018; Haneishi, 2001; Tamplin, 2008; Shih et al., 2012; Elefant, Baker, Lotan, Lagesen, & Skeie, 2012). This study sought to investigate how a music therapy protocol using NMT techniques impacts vocal functioning in people with PD. The effectiveness of specific Neurologic Music Therapy techniques targeting respiratory control andimproving vocal functioning was explored. Six persons with idiopathic PD were enrolled in weekly one-hour music therapy sessions for 6 weeks. Data collection consisted of acoustic, perceptual, and self-report measures of voice were collected before and after a NMT intervention protocol. The acoustic and self-report measures were found to have no statistically significant differences from pre to post-intervention testing. The results from the perceptual measures yielded statistically significant differences for characteristics of breathiness, pitch, loudness, and overall severity of voice functioning. The results indicate that Neurologic Music Therapy interventions may be beneficial in improving speaking voice in individuals with PD. Further research with larger sample sizes and control groups are necessary to determine if resulting statistically significant differences are generalizable to the PD population to yield clinically relevant changes.

Additional Information

Solberg, S. (2019). Neurologic Music Therapy To Improve Speaking Voice In Individuals Diagnosed With Parkinson’s Disease. Unpublished Master’s Thesis. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.
Language: English
Date: 2019
Neurologic music therapy, music therapy, Parkinson’s disease, singing and Parkingon’s disease, music therapy and voice

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