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Music Therapy

August 21, 2007

From the opening bars, you'd never know what Trevor Gibbons has been through. But if you listen to his lyrics you might get a clue.

Gibbons suffered a stroke while working on a window.  He fell four stories and landed flat on his back in the hospital for almost a year, unable to speak or barely even move.

"Depressed.  Very depressed and sad," he says.

Gibbons had ended up at Beth Abraham Rehab Center in the Bronx, pioneers in the field of music therapy.

"The program started more than 25 years ago with music therapists wheeling a piano from room to room, helping patients along the way. It was far from a professional setup like this one ... but the idea for taking the therapy program to the next level wasn't far off."

Today, stroke patients and those with Alzheimer's and Parkinson's too.  All use this unique, high tech digital recording studio, not just to make music, but to make breakthroughs.

In the studio the music can help bring back old memories and tap into language skills buried by injury or disease.

"They're able to retrieve words much easier than if they just did speech therapy by itself," says Dr. Concetta Tomaino.

Never expected to recover, Gibbons has now penned more than 400 songs, performed at Lincoln Center, and cut two CD's.  He's living proof of the power of music.

CBS News

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