Is Music the Frontier of Medical Science? Music and Health Research Collaboratory established in 2012 #tbt

Professor Lee Bartel led the creation of the Music and Health Research Collaboratory (MaHRC) in 2012. An early history of its development can be found here.

From this article by Jessica Lewis: “Yes we’re a music school that does performance but we do performance informed by technology, performance that has impact on medicine and health,” [Professor Bartel] says. “People have always assumed that there is a link between music and health from the way music makes you feel. Now we can demonstrate that in a scientific way”.

Bartel says that there are new frontiers in standard medical research that involve music and sound in a way was never anticipated. “It’s not just ‘music makes me feel happy therefore I walk faster thus my heart gets healthier,’ but because we are very specifically making sound in a particular way that has an indirect music-medicine affect on your brain.”

The Faculty of Music hosted The Sounds of Science: Music, Technology and Medicine on May 3, 2016 in collaboration with a number of other U of T Departments led by Professor Molly Shoichet.

Professor Michael Thaut and Professor Corene Hurt-Thaut joined the Faculty of Music in July 2015. Professor Michael Thaut was named Director, Music and Health Research Collaboratory (MaHRC) and Director, Music and Health Sciences Graduate Programs, and in fall 2017 was named a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Music, Neuroscience and Health.

Dr. Michael Thaut

In June 2018 the Faculty of Music’s first ever PhD in Music and Health Sciences convocated, Dr. Cheryl Jones. Her dissertation is titled Exploring Music-based Cognitive Rehabilitation Following Acquired Brain Injury: A Randomized Control Trail Comparing Attention Process Training and Musical Attention Control Training

Dr. Corene Hurt-Thaut

Led by Director Dr. Corene Hurt-Thaut, the International Training Institute in Neurologic Music Therapy kicks off its four day workshop today. Neurologic Music Therapy is defined as the therapeutic application of music to cognitive, sensory, and motor function due to neurologic disease of the human nervous system.

Neurologic Music Therapy is research-based. Its treatment techniques are based on the scientific knowledge in music perception and production and the effects thereof on nonmusical brain and behavior functions.

Populations served by Neurologic Music Therapists include, but are not limited to: stroke, traumatic brain injury, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease, cerebral palsy, developmental disorders, Alzheimer’s disease, autism, and other neurological diseases affecting cognition, movement, and communication (e.g., MS, Muscular Dystrophy, etc).