NMT provides specific, individualized, and standardized interventions for those affected by neurologic injury or disease. NMT differs from traditional Music Therapy as it views music not as a social science model for well being, but as a neuroscience model, where music is a hard-wired brain language.



The therapeutic application of music to cognitive, sensory, and motor dysfunctions due to neurologic disease of the human nervous system. Treatment techniques are based on the scientific knowledge of music perception and production and the effects of nonmusical brain and behavior functions.

NMT was researched and developed by the Academy of Neurologic Music Therapy in Fort Collins, Colorado. The first certification program of NMT was held in 1999. Since then, Neurologic Music Therapy has seen rapid growth in healthcare.


Based upon neuroscience research, Neurological Music Therapy serves across the spectrum of high and low functioning patients, and focuses on 3 key goal areas:

Speech & Language, Sensorimotor, and Cognition


Speech & Language

As seen in the case studies below, recovery of speech and language is just one of the applications of Neurologic Music Therapy.

Common injuries and diseases associated with loss of speech and language include, but is not limited to: Aphasia, Stroke, and Apraxia. NMT helps to reverse the damage done through a series of specialized interventions, including Musical Speech Stimulation and Melodic Intonation Therapy.

“About 1 third of stroke survivors have Aphasia, an impairment of language. “

The National Aphasia Association



Neurologic Music Therapy can provide improved outcomes for movement in a range of categories, including Gait Training. The Case Study shown is one example of outcomes that can be achieved using Neurologic Music Therapy, in comparison to traditional Physical Therapy.



Neurologic Music Therapy can provide improvements in cognition for the following areas:

  • Attention

  • Memory

  • Initiation

  • Executive Function

  • Neglect.


Senator Gabby Giffords Recovers With NMT

Neurologic Music Therapy first hit the world stage when U.S. Congresswoman Gabby Giffords was able to recover language and relearn to walk following her tragic gunshot wound to the head in 2011. Here is a video where she talks about the impact of the therapy on her life:

Senator Gabby Giffords

Senator Gabby Giffords

Meet Peter

When we first met Peter, he had suffered a Stroke, which resulted in Non-fluent Aphasia, and left him unable to speak.We began intensive Neurologic Music Therapy treatment, which consisted of Musical Speech Stimulation and Melodic Intonation Therapy. These specific interventions are targeted toward language rehabilitation in Stroke victims. As a result of this therapy, Peter experienced drastic outcomes.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  • What is the difference between Music Therapy (MT) and Neurologic Music Therapy? - Traditionally, Music Therapy has been looked at through a social science lens, using music for emotional well-being. Emergence of recent research has shown us that music has a profound effect on the human brain. NMT looks at music from a neuroscience lens and uses standardized interventions to help people recover movement, speech and language, and cognition.

  • How long does a session of therapy usually last? - Each session is individualized based on the person’s needs. Generally, sessions are 60 minutes.

  • Who does the therapy? - Each therapy session is lead by a board certified music therapist (MT-BC), who also is certified in Neurologic Music Therapy (NMT).

  • Why does there need to be a therapist? Can't I just play music from my digital device? - All interventions are standardized, individualized, and based upon neuroscience research. A therapist is trained in how our brains process certain elements of music, and can change the music accordingly in real time. Also, all interventions are interactive, meaning the clients must be involved in order to be successful. Turning on a radio will not elicit these same results and cannot be changed as clients progress.

  • What if I do not live near an NMT? - Please ask us about our other services.

  • What does a typical therapy session consist of? - Each session is very different depending on the goals. Sessions may involve singing, walking to live music, playing piano, playing a drum, kicking tambourines, using handbells. It can vary greatly.

  • What is the difference between NMT and an Interactive Metronome? - The Interactive Metronome (IM) has been shown in some case studies to be effective. Patients are encouraged to match walking or movement to the beat of the IM. Research in the neuroscience of music shows that our brain's ability to "entrain" or neurologically match a rhythm happens at a subcortical level, and NMTs are able to drive this response and create change in the brain rather than just asking the client to consciously match the rhythm. A trained NMT is also necessary in order to properly assess clients and design high quality interventions specifically for them, and to be able to respond in real time as the client progresses.

  • How do I get this care? - Contact us at hello@medrhythmstherapy.com with any questions or to coordinate care.

  • How do I find an NMT? - Just ask!

  • What services do you offer hospitals? - We offer hospitals a wide range of services. From the highest quality clinical care, to world-class education and training done by our team.