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  • Writer's pictureCarla Tanguay, MA, MT-BC

A Few of My Favorite Things

As a music therapist and educator, I know that we all have our favorite methods and media for learning. Some of us devour books and articles, others prefer videos and visuals, others love podcasts. This week, I am sharing some of my favorite resources for learning more about how music and music therapy can benefit people of all ages and abilities. 

Books and Articles

This Is Your Brain on Music by Daniel Levitin- Daniel Levitin is a music lover and neuroscientist who runs the Laboratory for Musical Perception, Cognition, and Expertise at McGill University. His book explores what happens in our brain when we listen to music, why we love music, and how neuroscience is changing our understanding of music. 

Musicophilia by Oliver Sacks- Many people don't know that the man who brought us "Awakenings" and "The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat" was an early supporter of music therapy. Sacks, a world famous neurologist, provides an accessible and enjoyable group of stories that explore how people with a variety of neurologic conditions experience and employ music. 


A few of my favorite articles to share:


Finding Voice Through Music Therapy- ABC News- This three part news story tells of how music therapists worked with Gabby Giffords to help her relearn to speak after her traumatic brain injury. 

The Healing Power of Music- PBS News Hour- Also sharing the story of Gabby Giffords, this video reports on the use of music therapy in a variety of medical settings.

How Playing an Instrument Benefits Your Brain-  Wondering if all those years of music lessons did you any good? This TedEd video shows how playing an instrument is a full body workout for your brain. 

What a Music Therapy Session Looks Like- A private practice music therapist shares examples of what might happen in a music therapy session with young children who have Autism.


Music Therapy Research Blog- Although directed primarily towards music therapy clinicians, this podcast provides interviews and discussions with leading music therapists and researchers about their work.

Music and the Brain Library of Congress- This series provides a wide range of guests and lectures from between 2009-2011. It features prominent music therapists, neuroscientists, and researchers. 

Podcast Episodes

Radiolab- Musical Language- This hour of Radiolab examines the line between language and music.

The Moth- Edelweiss- A family member describes a visit from his mother's hospice music therapist. Features a colleague of mine from Hospice of Palm Beach County. 

Hilarious World of Depression- Listeners' Favorite Coping Songs- People share the songs that they listen to in order to help them cope with their depression. 

All Things Considered- Heartbeat Music- A story about a music therapist who recorded the heartbeat of a young man with Leukemia. 

Do you have a favorite resource about music or music therapy?

Share it with us!

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