Brain Damaged Violinist Makes Music for First Time in 27 Years with Mind-Reading Technology

Brain Damaged Violinist Makes Music for First Time in 27 Years with Mind-Reading Technology

I came across this story that I wanted to share with my readers about the power of music. I was very touched by this woman’s ability to finally be able to express herself with music after so many years of being trapped inside her mind and body from such a devastating brain injury. I hope you are blessed by this story and gain a new appreciation of how much we need the expression of music in our lives.

Rosemary Johnson had made music for the first time since suffering a devastating car crash in her 20s.

By , Science Editor – The Telegraph

Violinist Rosemary Johnson at approximately aged 17
Violinist Rosemary Johnson at approximately aged 17; Photo: Paul Grover/The Telegraph

Violinist Rosemary Johnson has spent the last 27 years coming to terms with the reality she would never make music again, following a devastating car crash. A member of the Welsh National Opera Orchestra she was destined to become a world class musician before the road accident in 1988, which left her in a coma for seven months.

Violinist Rosemary Johnson at approximately aged 19
Violinist Rosemary Johnson at approximately aged 19; Photo: Paul Grover/The Telegraph

Miss Johnson suffered a devastating head injury, robbing her of speech and movement and meaning she could only pick out a few chords on the piano with the help of her mother Mary.

“The first time we tried with Rosemary we were in tears. We could feel the joy coming from her at being able to make music” Professor Eduardo Miranda, Plymouth University

But now, thanks to cutting edge technology, she is creating music again, using just the power of her mind.

In an extraordinary 10-year project led by the Plymouth University and the Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability in London, her brain has been wired up to a computer using Brain Computer Music Interfacing software.

Ground-breaking musical performance by severely motor-impaired people to be premiered at Peninsula Arts Contemporary Music Festival.
Photo: Plymouth University

By focusing on different colored lights on a computer screen she can select notes and phrases to be played and alter a composition as it is performed by live musicians. The intensity of her mental focus can even change the volume and speed of the piece.

It is the first time Miss Johnson, 50, has been able to create music in decades and has been an emotional experience for the her, and the scientists involved in the program.

Ground-breaking musical performance by severely motor-impaired people to be premiered at Peninsula Arts Contemporary Music Festival.
Photo: Plymouth University

“It was really very moving,” said Professor Eduardo Miranda, Composer and Director of the Interdisciplinary Centre for Computer Music Research at Plymouth University.

“The first time we tried with Rosemary we were in tears. We could feel the joy coming from her at being able to make music. It was perfect because she can read music very well and make a very informed choice.

Violinist Rosemary Johnson at approx aged 25 after the accident
Violinist Rosemary Johnson at approximately aged 25 after the accident; Photo: Paul Grover/The Telegraph

“The great achievement of this project is that it is possible to perform music without being able to actually move. She is essentially controlling another musician to play it for her.

“It’s not yet possible to read thoughts but we can train people to use brain signals to control things.”

Ground-breaking musical performance by severely motor-impaired people to be premiered at Peninsula Arts Contemporary Music Festival.
Photo: Plymouth University

Three other disabled patients who live at the hospital have also been trained to use the technology, and have been working alongside four able-bodied musicians from the Bergersen String quartet who play the music in real time as it is selected.

They are called The Paramusical Ensemble, and they have already recorded a piece of music entitled Activating Memory which will be heard for the first time at the Peninsula Arts Contemporary Music Festival in Plymouth later this month.

Miss Johnson’s mother Mary, 80, of Hounslow, West London said the project had given her daughter new hope.

Violinist Rosemary Johnson at approximately aged 17
Violinist Rosemary Johnson at approximately aged 17; Photo: Paul Grover/The Telegraph

“Music is really her only motivation,” she said. “I take her to the grand piano in the hospital and she can only really play a few chords, but that was the only time she shows any interest. She doesn’t really enjoy anything else.

“But this has been so good for her. I can tell she has really enjoyed it. When she performed I went to the hospital and that is the first time I have heard her make music, other than the piano chords for a long, long time.”

The technology works like a ‘musical game’ where the players select pieces of melody at certain times of the performance to augment the overall work, which was composed by Prof Miranda.

Each patient wears an EEG cap furnished with electrodes which can read electrical information from their brain. They are paired with a member of the string quartet who views the musical phrases on a screen as they are selected in real-time.

Ground-breaking musical performance by severely motor-impaired people to be premiered at Peninsula Arts Contemporary Music Festival.
Photo: Plymouth University

Julian O’Kelly, Research Fellow at the Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability added: “This is a great means of transcending disability to offer individuals a unique experience of creating music with each other, and interacting with skilled musicians to create original compositions.

“In the case of Rosemary, the project illustrated the great potential this innovation could have for participants who may have once been gifted musicians, but now lack the physical abilities to engage in music making.

“You could clearly see in her broad smile during the performance how much she enjoyed the experience.”

The patient quartet are made of Miss Johnson, Clive Wells, Richard Bennett and Steve Thomas.

Ground-breaking musical performance by severely motor-impaired people to be premiered at Peninsula Arts Contemporary Music Festival.
Photo: Plymouth University

Speaking through an automated voice machine, Mr Thomas said: “I like music and I am very interested in the Brain Computer Music Interface. It’s more interactive with people actually getting my instructions.

“It was great to hear the musician play the phrase I selected. I tried to select music that was harmonious with the others. It’s very cool.”

The team are hoping that the technology could be used one day to improve mood and help them to express their feelings.

“If our patients were able to compose music to reflect their state of mind, that would be an amazing way for them to be able to express themselves and music therapists could then use that to work with the patients,” added Dr Sophie Duport, of Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability

Ground-breaking musical performance by severely motor-impaired people to be premiered at Peninsula Arts Contemporary Music Festival.
Photo: Plymouth University

Joel Eaton, PhD Research Student at Plymouth University’s said: “One of the key things about this system is that not only does it give a user the interaction and control of an instrument, it allows them to interact with each other.

“If this idea was developed it could have ramifications in all areas of someone’s life. Potentially I can see the ability for someone to express musically how they are feeling again without their ability to move their fingers, to communicate with words.

Sharing “Wholetones”

Sharing “Wholetones”

I had a friend call me the other day and introduce a website and concept to me that I would like to share with you. This is another approach to the Solfeggio Frequencies that I believe has merit in offering a therapeutic medium for receiving positive effects from the frequencies. I really like what Michael and his team have done by sounding the different frequencies and then playing harmonizing instrumentation into the frequency – filling it out into wonderful worshipful music that brings the healing and peaceful atmosphere. It is another example of what I believe to be various forms of understanding these frequencies and how to employ them what God is releasing to His children for our healing and restoration. Michael tells anecdotal stories of healings he has observed, even with his own mother – just as I have observed healings as well with the harp music.

I hope you appreciate their work and its results.

Harp Therapy

Harp Therapy

Instead of sharing an article for this post, I wanted to share a YouTube that someone shared with me recently. It was produced by Susan Bradley, R.N. and I can identify with much of what she says because I too am an R.N. and I have played in the E.R., at the bedside, and the surgical suit as she mentions. The harp as a form of therapy is being recognized more and more, and the healing that comes from the frequencies it releases can be quite amazing. I hope you enjoy this short video:

Until my next post – Be blessed!

Steve

Music Therapy in Action

Music Therapy in Action

Tiny preemies get a boost from live music therapy

Note: One of my readers, Abigail, sent this article to me and it very much reflects the experiences I have had while playing the harp at the bedside. Very good information. Thanks for your interest. If anyone else of my readers has an article to share, send it in  – Thanks and Blessings – Steve

By LINDSEY TANNER   –   The Associated Press

CHICAGO —  May 16, 2013

As the guitarist strums and softly sings a lullaby in Spanish, tiny Augustin Morales stops squirming in his hospital crib and closes his eyes.

This is therapy in a newborn intensive care unit, and research suggests that music may help those born way too soon adapt to life outside the womb.

Some tiny preemies are too small and fragile to be held and comforted by human touch, and many are often fussy and show other signs of stress. Other common complications include immature lungs, eye disease, problems with sucking, and sleeping and alertness difficulties.

Recent studies and anecdotal reports suggest the vibrations and soothing rhythms of music, especially performed live in the hospital, might benefit preemies and other sick babies.

Many insurers won’t pay for music therapy because of doubts that it results in any lasting medical improvement.  Some doctors say the music works best at relieving babies’ stress and helping parents bond with infants too sick to go home.

But amid beeping monitors, IV poles and plastic breathing tubes in infants’ rooms at Chicago’s Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital, music therapist Elizabeth Klinger provides a soothing contrast that even the tiniest babies seem to notice

“What music therapy can uniquely provide is that passive listening experience that just encourages relaxation for the patient, encourages participation by the family,” Klinger said after a recent session in Augustin’s hospital room.

The baby’s parents, Lucy Morales and Alejandro Moran, stood at the crib and whispered lovingly to their son as Klinger played traditional lullabies, singing in Spanish and English.

“The music relaxes him, it makes him feel more calm” and helps him sleep better too, Lucy Morales said. “Sometimes it makes us cry.”

Some families request rock music or other high-tempo songs, but Klinger always slows the beat to make it easier on tender ears.

“A lot of times families become afraid of interacting with their children because they are so sick and so frail, and music provides them something that they can still do,” Klinger said, who works full time as a music therapist but her services are provided for free.

Music therapists say live performances in hospitals are better than recorded music because patients can feel the music vibrations and also benefit from seeing the musicians.

More than two dozen U.S. hospitals offer music therapy in their newborn intensive care units and its popularity is growing, said Joanne Loewy, a music therapist who directs a music and medicine program at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York.

Preemies’ music therapy was even featured on a recent episode of the hit TV show “American Idol,” when show finalist Kree Harrison watched a therapist working with a tiny baby at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

“Music is such a huge part of our lives and to do something like this, make it a sort of healing process, is a cool thing,” Harrison said on the April 25 episode.

Dr. Natalia Henner, a newborn specialist at Lurie hospital, said studies in nursing journals show music therapy for preemies “does help with promoting growth. And there’s some good literature … saying that the time to discharge is a little bit shorter in babies who’ve been exposed to more music therapy.”

She said it “definitely facilitates bonding” between parents of preemies and other babies too sick to go home.

Loewy led a study published last month in the journal Pediatrics, involving 11 U.S. hospitals. Therapists in the study played special small drums to mimic womb sounds and timed the rhythm to match the infants’ heartbeats. The music appeared to slow the infants’ heartbeats, calm their breathing, and improve sucking and sleeping, Loewy said.

Soozie Cotter-Schaufele, a music therapist at Advocate Children’s Hospital-Park Ridge near Chicago, says soothing rhythmic sounds of music can mimic womb sounds and provide a comforting environment for preemies. She sings and plays a small harp or guitar, and says the sounds help calm tiny babies while they’re undergoing painful medical procedures.

Cotter-Schaufele said she recently heard from a woman whose daughter was born prematurely at her hospital six years ago. She had played the 1960s folk song “Today” for the infant.

The mother reported her daughter “‘still loves that song,” She said ‘She didn’t learn that song from me, she learned it from you,'” Cotter-Schaufele said.

Reprogramming and Repairing DNA with Frequencies

Reprogramming and Repairing DNA with Frequencies

Frequencies Used for Reprogramming DNA

A study I came across in e-zine “Collective Evolution” written by Grazyna Fosar and Franz Bludorf from September 2, 2011 has some evidence and conclusions that are very interesting. While I do not share some of their conclusions and applications, never the less, I believe that there are some things we can take from the article. It’s kind of like a buffet lunch – you take the things you like and leave the things you don’t like. Most interesting is their opening paragraph;

“THE HUMAN DNA IS A BIOLOGICAL INTERNET and superior in many aspects to the artificial one. Russian scientific research directly or indirectly explains phenomena such as clairvoyance, intuition, spontaneous and remote acts of healing, self-healing, affirmation techniques, unusual light/auras around people (namely spiritual masters), mind’s influence on weather patterns and much more. In addition, there is evidence for a whole new type of medicine in which DNA can be influenced and reprogrammed by words and frequencies WITHOUT cutting out and replacing single genes.”

While I am not in agreement with the more new age terminology of the “spiritual masters”, there is much here to pay attentions to. They go on to explain some of the details of how this works.

“Only 10% of our DNA is being used for building proteins. It is this subset of DNA that is of interest to western researchers and is being examined and categorized. The other 90% are considered “junk DNA.” The Russian researchers, however, convinced that nature was not dumb, joined linguists and geneticists in a venture to explore those 90% of “junk DNA.” Their results, findings and conclusions are simply revolutionary! According to them, our DNA is not only responsible for the construction of our body but also serves as data storage and in communication. The Russian linguists found that the genetic code, especially in the apparently useless 90%, follows the same rules as all our human languages. To this end they compared the rules of syntax (the way in which words are put together to form phrases and sentences), semantics (the study of meaning in language forms) and the basic rules of grammar. They found that the alkalines of our DNA follow a regular grammar and do have set rules just like our languages. So human languages did not appear coincidentally but are a reflection of our inherent DNA.”

We have already seen evidence of how frequencies and words can change the crystalline structure of water molecules with several publications out of Japan, but we now see a much more far reaching effect of these same words and frequencies on our DNA structure and information. The scripture Proverbs 18:21 comes to mind and now makes a lot of “scientific sense”.

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue; and they that indulge it shall eat the fruit thereof.”

The article goes on to explain:

“The Russian biophysicist and molecular biologist Pjotr Garjajev and his colleagues also explored the vibrational behavior of the DNA. [For the sake of brevity I will give only a summary here. [For further exploration please refer to the appendix at the end of the original article.] The bottom line was: “Living chromosomes function just like solitonic/holographic computers using the endogenous DNA laser radiation.” This means that they managed for example to modulate certain frequency patterns onto a laser ray and with it influenced the DNA frequency and thus the genetic information itself. Since the basic structure of DNA-alkaline pairs and of language (as explained earlier) are of the same structure, no DNA decoding is necessary.

One can simply use words and sentences of the human language! This, too, was experimentally proven! Living DNA substance (in living tissue, not in vitro) will always react to language-modulated laser rays and even to radio waves, if the proper frequencies are being used.

Think about the amazing potential we have to influence our health and wellbeing just by the way we speak and the frequencies we expose ourselves to. One of my friends plays my harp music all day long in her house and tells me that it has made such a difference on how her day goes. She says that life has taken on a whole new flavor with these frequencies vibrating through her home.

The article goes on to site more scientific studies that showed how these words and frequencies were able to repair and reprogram the DNA structures of various organisms. I will not extend this post by siting more of the article, but I think you get the picture.

Our words and the frequencies we expose ourselves to really do make a difference in how our lives progress. One of the main reasons that I have devoted the last 7 years of my life to making harp music available to whosoever is that I truly believe it will make a difference in the lives of those who listen. I first began to understand this when I read of David playing for King Saul:

1Samuel 16:16 “ Let our lord now command thy servants, that are before thee, to seek out a man who is a skillful player on the harp; and it shall be, when the evil spirit from God cometh upon thee, that he shall play with his hand, and thou shalt be well.”

As I have continued to study the effects of music on our physiology and spirituality, I have become more and more convinced of how valuable this music is. I hope you will join me in getting the word out to your sphere of influence (family and friends) so they too can receive the truly wonderful benefits of these “Miracle Frequencies”.

Blessings to all – Steve

More Blood Pressure and Music Evidence

American Music Therapy Association

May 23, 2008 | Web site : www.musictherapy.org | Music Therapy

Description

Music therapy is the use of music by health care professionals to promote healing and enhance quality of life for their patients. Music therapy may be used to encourage emotional expression, promote social interaction, relieve symptoms, and for other purposes. Music therapists may use active or passive methods with patients, depending on the individual patient’s needs and abilities.

Overview

There is some evidence that, when used with conventional treatment, music therapy can help to reduce pain and relieve chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. It may also relieve stress and provide an overall sense of well-being. Some studies have found that music therapy can lower heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing rate.

How is it promoted for use?

Music therapists work with a variety of physical, emotional, and psychological symptoms. Music therapy is often used in cancer treatment to help reduce pain, anxiety, and nausea caused by chemotherapy. Some people believe music therapy may be a beneficial addition to the health care of children with cancer by promoting social interaction and cooperation.

There is evidence that music therapy can reduce high blood pressure, rapid heartbeat, depression, and sleeplessness. There are no claims music therapy can cure cancer or other diseases, but medical experts do believe it can reduce some symptoms, aid healing, improve physical movement, and enrich a patient’s quality of life.

What does it involve?

Music therapists design music sessions for individuals and groups based on their needs and tastes. Some aspects of music therapy include making music, listening to music, writing songs, and talking about lyrics. Music therapy may also involve imagery and learning through music. It can be done in different places such as hospitals, cancer centers, hospices, at home, or anywhere people can benefit from its calming or stimulating effects. The patient does not need to have any musical ability to benefit from music therapy.

A related practice called music thanatology is sometimes used at the end of a patient’s life to ease the person’s passing. It is practiced in homes, hospices, or nursing homes.

What is the history behind it?

Music has been used in medicine for thousands of years. Ancient Greek philosophers believed that music could heal both the body and the soul. Native Americans have used singing and chanting as part of their healing rituals for millennia. The more formal approach to music therapy began in World War II, when U.S. Veterans Administration hospitals began to use music to help treat soldiers suffering from shell shock. In 1944, Michigan State University established the first music therapy degree program in the world.

Today, more than seventy colleges and universities have degree programs that are approved by the American Music Therapy Association. Music therapists must have at least a bachelor’s degree, 1,200 hours of clinical training, and one or more internships before they can be certified. There are thousands of professional music therapists working in health care settings in the United States today. They serve as part of cancer-management teams in many hospitals and cancer centers, helping to plan and evaluate treatment. Some music therapy services are covered by health insurance.

What is the evidence?

Scientific studies have shown the value of music therapy on the body, mind, and spirit of children and adults. Researchers have found that music therapy, when used with anti-nausea drugs for patients receiving high-dose chemotherapy, can help ease nausea and vomiting. A number of clinical trials have shown the benefit of music therapy for short-term pain, including pain from cancer. Some studies have suggested that music may help decrease the overall intensity of the patient’s experience of pain when used with pain-relieving drugs. Music therapy can also result in a decreased need for pain medicine in some patients, although studies on this topic have shown mixed results.

In hospice patients, one study found that music therapy improved comfort, relaxation, and pain control. Another study found that quality of life improved in cancer patients who received music therapy, even as it declined in those who did not. No differences were seen in survival between the 2 groups.

A more recent clinical trial looked at the effects of music during the course of several weeks of radiation treatments. The researchers found that while emotional distress (such as anxiety) seemed to be helped at the beginning of treatment, the patients reported that this effect gradually decreased. Music did not appear to help such symptoms as pain, fatigue, and depression over the long term.

Other clinical trials have revealed a reduction in heart rate, blood pressure, breathing rate, insomnia, depression, and anxiety with music therapy. No one knows all the ways music can benefit the body, but studies have shown that music can affect brain waves, brain circulation, and stress hormones. These effects are usually seen during and shortly after the music therapy.

Studies have shown that students who take music lessons have improved IQ levels, and show improvement in nonmusical abilities as well. Other studies have shown that listening to music composed by Mozart produces a short-term improvement in tasks that use spatial abilities. Studies of brain circulation have shown that people listening to Mozart have more activity in certain areas of the brain. This has been called the “Mozart effect.” Although the reasons for this effect are not completely clear, this kind of information supports the idea that music can be used in many helpful ways.

Some clinical trials that involve listening to music have shown no benefit on anxiety during surgical procedures, although one study that allowed patients to choose their own music showed improved anxiety levels. One recent review of studies looked at the effect of music on all types of pain and found a wide variation in its effects. The study authors observed that the best effects were on short-term pain after surgery. It is important to note that not all studies of music use music therapists, who assess the patient’s needs, circumstances, and preferences, as well as the different effects of certain types of music. This may account for some differences in clinical trial results.

Are there any possible problems or complications?

In general, music therapy done under the care of a professionally trained therapist has a helpful effect and is considered safe when used with standard treatment. Musical intervention by untrained people can be ineffective or can even cause increased stress and discomfort. Relying on this type of treatment alone and avoiding or delaying conventional medical care for cancer may have serious health consequences.

References

Bodner M, Muftuler LT, Nalcioglu O, Shaw GL. FMRI study relevant to the Mozart effect: brain areas involved in spatial-temporal reasoning. Neurol Res. 2001;23:683-690.

Cepeda MS, Carr DB, Lau J, Alvarez H. Music for pain relief. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2006;(2):CD004843.

Clark M, Isaacks-Downton G, Wells N, et al. Use of preferred music to reduce emotional distress and symptom activity during radiation therapy. J Music Ther. 2006;43:247-265.

Ezzone S, Baker C, Rosselet R, Terepka E. Music as an adjunct to antiemetic therapy. Oncol Nurs Forum. 1998;25:1551-1556.

Hilliard RE. The effects of music therapy on the quality and length of life of people diagnosed with terminal cancer. J Music Ther. 2003;40:113-137.

Jausovec N, Habe K. The “Mozart effect”: an electroencephalographic analysis employing the methods of induced event-related desynchronization/synchronization and event-related coherence. Brain Topogr. 2003;16:73-84.

Krout RE. The effects of single-session music therapy interventions on the observed and self-reported levels of pain control, physical comfort, and relaxation of hospice patients. Am J Hosp Palliat Care. 2001;18:383-390.

Lane D. Music therapy: a gift beyond measure. Oncol Nurs Forum. 1992;19:863-867.

Lane D. Music therapy: gaining an edge in oncology management. J Oncol Manag. 1993;2:42-46.

Pelletier CL. The effect of music on decreasing arousal due to stress: a meta-analysis. J Music Ther. 2004;41:192-214.

Phumdoung S, Good M. Music reduces sensation and distress of labor pain. Pain Manag Nurs. 2003;4:54-61.

Schellenberg EG. Music and nonmusical abilities. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2001;930:355-371.

Schellenberg EG. Music lessons enhance IQ. Psychol Sci. 2004;15:511-514.

Watkins GR. Music therapy: proposed physiological mechanisms and clinical implications. Clin Nurse Spec. 1997;11:43-50.

Published in American Cancer Society e-zine at:

http://www.cancer.org/treatment/treatmentsandsideeffects/

complementaryandalternativemedicine/mindbodyandspirit/music-therapy?sitearea=ETO

0