About a year ago I took a Neurology class as a GLER for my degree. In this class our professor talked briefly about movement disorders and some research being done involving listening to music. In this rehabilitation process the suffers are given a MP3 player of some kind as well as headphones. The researchers then turn on some music and the suffer begins to walk. With the music on you can see a dramatic improvement to the way the suffer is able to walk. After the class I had so many questions that I could not find the answers for so I decided that I would figure out these answers if I could.
Most of the research that I have found is focused on Parkinson’s Disease which is one of the most common movement disorders. Think of all the people you could help if we could say isolate the single thing about the music itself that is helping these people to walk. My research focus is mostly on the rhythm of the music itself as this to me seems like the obvious area that would be helping them to walk. I want to test different types of rhythms such as 4/4, 3/4, 2/4, 6/8 and even polyrhythmic songs! Hopefully that data will help us to locate the ideal rhythm for helping them.
My research wont truly begin until next year but right now I am doing some readings and looking into cost involved with studying this. There is also a very respected researcher at the U of L who has studied something very similar to this but from the neurological and kinesiological way of thinking. I plan to help by looking at things from a musical perspective. More info is still to come and I plan to keep you all up to date on everything as it happens right here and on my Twitter.