Round Up, April 14th

Happy Monday! It was a slow news week in the music therapy world specifically, but we found some fascinating links and stories related to music, disability, and more! We'll start off with one that is a perfect celebration of Autism Awareness Month:

The Fish Police: Punk, Autism, and Breaking Down Boundaries (The Guardian)

You have to check out this story! The Fish Police is a U.K.-based band getting ready to embark on their first tour. It just so happens that they're front man and guitarist have autism as well!

5 Reasons Playing a Musical Instrument is Great For Your Brain (

No arguments here! Playing an instrument is a phenomenal brain task, as it engages multiple areas of the brain, but for adults it goes beyond even that. It's not often in our adult lives that we have to really sit and focus on a difficult task that's new for us. So often, we're stuck in our routines, and even those with taxing careers can go into "auto-pilot." Keep that brain young by learning something challenging (and rewarding) like learning to play an instrument!

Creativity and the Brain: What We Can Learn from Jazz Musicians (KQED/NPR)

Ever wonder how the heck talented jazz musicians can just make up such catchy music on the spot like that? Don't you wish you could just get inside their brains and see what was going on? One researcher did just that! He devised a study in which jazz pianists improvised while in an MRI machine. Check out the results!

Music Soothes Body and Spirt at Children's Hospital (

We weren't completely without a music therapy story this week! Check out this great write up on the music therapy program at San Fransisco's Benioff Children's Hospital, a program funded 100% by donors. Some great pictures of music therapy in action in there!

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