Doctors strike a note with music therapy

Doctors strike a note with music therapy
(Source: KAIT)

(KAIT/NBC) - Music therapy is gaining new ground with some doctors.

The simplest of melodies can help heal even the youngest patients.

Lydia Gray plays her guitar for little brother Bo.

Bo has Down syndrome and was nonverbal at two years old until his big sister started singing to him over and over again.

Research shows music "fires up" the brain and opens doors other therapies can't.

Therapist Amanda Maestro-Shereer says music improves cognitive, motor, and speech skills.

"It can be used to help a child fall asleep, or help them through a pain crisis," says Maestro-Shereer. "It can also help a child work on speech function. It can help with motor function.  Maybe it's 'You Are My Sunshine' or maybe its 'Let It Go' from Frozen to help a kid get through a procedure that might be painful."

Bo's mother says it calms him and increases focus.

Click here to see how music therapy can also benefit people with Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia.

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