Meet the Dallas Doctors Using Music for Therapy

Professor Robert Krout, director of SMU's Music Therapy program, talks about the importance of music therapy as part of the healing process.

By Mac McCann

Music can be incredibly therapeutic. Whether it's keeping us from road rage during rush hour traffic, helping us fall asleep, or uniting us with others as we sing along at a concert, music has a certain unique healing power.

Locally, the Windsor Senior Living facility in Dallas uses music to help people with Alzheimer's disease recall old memories. But music therapy can be helpful to people of all ages. Children's Medical Center Dallas, which has the largest music therapy program in DFW, even utilizes music therapy for the newborns in its Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

According to the American Music Therapy Association, music therapy consists of "using music therapeutically to address physical, psychological, cognitive and/or social functioning for patients of all ages." It's used to help patients manage stress, alleviate pain, enhance memory, improve communication and promote physical rehabilitation.

Southern Methodist University is one of only about 59 accredited music therapy schools in the country, and one of only six such schools in Texas. Dr. Robert Krout, the Director of Music Therapy at SMU, says that music therapy, which became a recognized profession in 1950, has especially taken off in hospitals, for both adults and children, in the last twenty years.

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