Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Anecdotal Testimonial

Here's a brief story with nothing new in it,  just a nice summation of how music can benefit someone recovering from brain surgery. In this case the patient was a critical care surgeon who is also an amateur musician. (In my experience there are a lot more medical people who are amateur musicians than you'd find in other professions.)

"The surgery had discombobulated my brain, and you can't have that and be a surgeon in a critical-care unit. I was trying to recover, but things weren't working right. I didn't think I'd have the mental skills again that I needed to return to my profession." 

"And gradually, sitting at the piano, I started getting some of that feeling back in my brain. What I recognize now . . . was that music involves every part of the human brain. To play music requires rhythm, melody, timing, timbre, harmonics, physical manipulation and responses."

What was happening, Fratianne said, was that he "was being forced to integrate all parts of brain function. As it came back, I regained my ability to do other things that the rehab therapists were asking me to do." Fratianne's mental and physical skills came back, and three months after his brain surgery he was able to operate again (the first time, he did so with a backup surgeon next to him, ready to take over.) "For a surgeon, that's an incredibly short amount of time to come back, and I can't help but think that it was music therapy that turned the corner for me".

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