Music Therapy in the Movies

If you're a fan of 5 hour long ceremonies filled with sobbing speeches and eye-rolling jokes, this is a big weekend for you: The Academy Awards are on Sunday!

In all seriousness though, I enjoy the Oscars, and like most people, I'll be up late Sunday night watching until the end. After all, you can see a music therapy technique in action. You know how the orchestra starts playing music when an award recipients speech time is up? Boom, musical cue to shape behavior.

But has music therapy ever been displayed on the silver screen? Yes, in fact, it has! In 2011, the film "The Music Never Stopped," based on the essay "The Last Hippie," by music therapy advocate Dr. Oliver Sacks, depicted the story of a young man who left his home, only to be found years later with no recollection of the past decade, as a result of a brain tumor. Following his recovery, his family struggles to connect with him. Knowing the importance of music to their son, they reach out to a music therapist for help. The music therapist in the story, Dr. Dianne Daly, is loosely based on real life music therapist Dr. Concetta Tomaino.

If you're interested in learning more about music therapy, I could give a high enough recommendation for this movie. In addition to offering a very realistic view of music therapy, it's a heartwarming story of a relationship between a father and son that is strained and repaired. I guarantee, the ending will move you to tears.

"The Music Never Stopped" is available on Netflix instant streaming, Amazon instant video, and on DVD on Amazon.

In other music therapy cinema news, "Sing You Home," a novel written by Jodi Picoult that feature a main character who works as a music therapist, will be made into a movie in the near future! Ellen Degeneres bought the rights to make the film and will apparently be funding the project herself. Look for it soon!

The George Center offers high quality music therapy services to the Atlanta area, talk to us today to learn more!


Photo credit: Flickr user cliff1066 (Best Actress Academy Award)