NYU Steinhardt News

Nordoff-Robbins Center and NYU Rusk Receive Grammy Foundation Grant

NYU Langone Medical Center’s Rusk Rehabilitation Center and NYU Steinhardt’s Nordoff-Robbins Center for Music Therapy have been awarded a Grammy Foundation Grant for their research on the efficacy and underlying mechanisms of an enriched environment that integrates music therapy and occupational therapy in stroke rehabilitation, to enhance upper limb recovery in underserved minority groups as compared to traditional therapy.

This research has been supported by funds from the American Music Therapy Association’s Fultz Award and Steinhardt’s Community Collaborative Award. The results of the recent pilot study were published in a special issue of Music Therapy Perspectives focusing on Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy. In this study, five groups of three participants received 45-minute sessions of Music Therapy/Upper Limb Therapy – Integrated (MULT-I). This treatment was designed to address simultaneously the physical, psychological, and social dimensions of well-being in the chronic post-post stroke period.

Interactive music making served as a means of simultaneously enhancing participants’ physical, cognitive, emotional, and social engagement. Rehabilitation goals were addressed in the context of overall well-being, cultivating participants’ self-awareness and empowering them to take a more active role in their rehabilitation. Active engagement in music-making served as a natural means to cultivate perceptual-motor functioning and reintegrate the impaired side with the intact side of the body, thus helping to restore participants’ sense of their bodies as a functional whole.

Qualitative themes that emerged from detailed review of session video recordings were related to peer support; changes over time in group members’ motor functioning and participation in activities; the creation of a naturalistic music-making context through group improvisation; and heightened emotional awareness and expression through musical engagement.