The Northwestern Music and Medicine Program (NMMP) was created by cognitive behavioral neurologist Borna Bonakdarpour and violist and music practitioner Clara Takarabe. The program has three components: 1.) clinical music interventions, 2.) research and 3.) education.
- NMH Music Intervention. This program provides support to patients admitted in the Northwestern Memorial Hospital neurosciences unit. In summer 2020, we piloted a daily program providing psychological first aid for admitted patients who were affected by COVID-19 isolation. Thirty-minute demographically sensitive individualized music sessions were offered to patients with different neurological diagnoses. Results were very positive based on patient feedback and were widely covered by the media. Results are published in Frontiers in Neurology.
- Clinically Designed Improvisatory Music. Designed during the COVID-19 pandemic, this receptive intervention possesses two key attributes: for one, it uses strict parameters for rhythm, tempo, range, dynamics, timbre and silence, and second, it is live and implemented by a clinically trained musician. Social presence and engagement contribute to decreased anxiety, agitation and feelings of loneliness. See our article published in Frontiers in Neurology for more details.
- Collaboration with Institute for Therapy through the Arts (ITA): Musical Bridges to Memory. Musical Bridges to Memory (MBM) is a program consisting of music played by a chamber ensemble together with caregiver training to enhance social engagement and reduce psychiatric symptoms in patients with dementia. Our pilot results show significant change in the relationship between the person with dementia and their care partners as well as reduced negative psychiatric symptoms. See our abstract presented at the Alzheimer’s Association conference in 2020.
- Melodic Intonation Therapy. Melodic intonation therapy is a rehabilitation intervention for individuals with language impairment (aphasia) whose singing ability remains intact. Phrases are practiced in intoned form for many sessions. Many studies have shown the efficacy of this method for recovery from non-fluent aphasia. See Bonakdarpour et al., 2003.
- Staff Well-Being Program. We collaborated with Northwestern Medicine’s physician well-being program in building a Recuperation Room for physicians for whom we provided restorative music. Restorative music comprises a set of recordings that have been clinically proven to reduce blood pressure and heart rate and induce a feeling of calmness. We also have provided this intervention for Neurology Department staff.
- Dementia Concerts/Memory Café. Designed as life-enrichment programs for individuals with dementia, these concerts brought music to patients during the COVID-19 pandemic when in-person concerns were not available. Musicians featured in these programs included members of the Civitas Ensemble and Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
- Musical Museum. The Musical Museum is a dementia-informed life-enrichment program featuring musical performances intertwined with commentary and discussion around sound, music and poetry. The program takes care to acknowledge intellectual and social needs of this stage of life.
- Telemusic Intervention
- Music and Cardiovascular System
- Music, Anxiety, and Dementia
- Music Employed Treatment for Frontotemporal Dementia (MET-FTD)
- Music Literacy and Recovery from Aphasia
- Music as Care Labor
- Music and Medicine Conference
- Invited Lectures
- Bonakdarpour, B., McFadden, A., Zlotkowski, S., Huang, D., Shaker, M., Shibata, B., Haben, W., Brashear, C., Sandoval, A., Breitenbach, C., Rodriguez, C., Viamille, J., Porter, M., Galic, K., Schaeve, M., Thatcher, D., & Takarabe, C. (2021). Neurology Telemusic program at the time of the covid-19 pandemic: Turning hospital time into aesthetic time during crisis. Frontiers in Neurology, 12. https://doi.org/10.3389/fneur.2021.749782
- Music-Based Medical Interventions with Borna Bonakdarpour, MD (May 2022, Breakthroughs Podcast)
- Music and the Brain: Music Therapy for Dementia (October 2020, Chicago Jazz Magazine)
- A New Prescription: A Dose of Live Music for Hospital Patients (September 2020, The Wall Street Journal)
- Viola player shares gift of music with Chicago hospital patients (September 2020, NBC News)
- Using Music In FTD Care (August 2020, Talking FTD Podcast)
- Music cafe brings comfort to dementia patients during COVID-19 pandemic (July 2020, Fox 32 Chicago)
- Music can call back loved ones lost in Alzheimer's darkness: 'So much we can do to improve quality of life' (June 2018, Chicago Tribune)
- Bonakdarpour, B., Zhou G., Huang D., Zelano C., Takarabe C. (2022) Calming Effect of Clinically Designed Improvisatory Music for Patients Admitted to Epilepsy Monitoring Unit during COVID-19 Pandemic. AAN Annual Meeting, Seattle, USA, April, 2022.
Music and Neurology, Lecture presented for the Osher Center for Lifelong Learning, April, 2022
Music and Dementia, Lecture presented virtually for the Center for the Jewish Elderly, November, 2021; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5y8HBrubyQ&t=4s
- June 28, 2022: Musical Museum "Deep Calm" – Musical Museum is a concert series
with discussion for individuals with neurocognitive disorders and their family members. Learn more here.
- May 4, 2022: Bonakdarpour Lab and the Northwestern Music and Medicine program will attend the Northwestern 28th Annual Alzheimer Day and present on current research and initiatives during the poster session. For more information, please visit the conference website.