Music Therapy for Treatment of Parkinson's Disease

The Institute for Music and Neurologic Function (IMNF) offers music therapy to patients with Parkinson’s disease, in an effort to improve their overall health and well-being. The IMNF works with patients through CenterLight Health System, to help them learn to initiate and coordinate movements. In addition to movement, music therapy can help patients with articulation if their speech becomes slurred and unclear. Music therapy also helps Parkinson’s patients who exhibit too much movement (shaking). Slow, rhythmic movement can slow down overactive body rhythms and induce relaxation and sleep. Combining exercise with enjoyable and creative music experiences can often maintain overall health and well-being.

What to Expect

Breathing exercises


Melodic phrasing

Rhythmic vocalization

Rhythmic movement to music

Conversational phrases are embedded into melodic phrases to support speech.

Music therapy can provide results including:

Improved communication skills with improved clarity and fluency

Increased confidence in communication attempts

Enhanced expression

Improved nerve and muscle control

Confidence to perform independently

Improved gait and balance

For more information on the programs and services offered by the Institute for Music and Neurologic Function, please call 718-519-5840 or email

What is Parkinson's Disease?

Parkinson’s Disease is a brain disorder that affects movement. It is a chronic, progressive disease that begins with a tremor in the affected limb, when the limb is at rest. In Parkinson’s Disease, nerve cells die or become impaired. Four features that characterize Parkinson’s Disease are: trembling of a limb when it’s at rest; slowness of movement, stiffness of the limbs and the body, and poor balance.

There is no treatment to slow or stop the progression of the disease but there is treatment to ease the most bothersome symptoms. Medications may relieve some symptoms and lifestyle modification, physical therapy and speech therapy can improve an individual’s quality of life. Music therapy has been found to be exceptionally effective for people with Parkinson’s Disease.