Rhythm Builds Order in Brain-Damaged Children. Author(s): George A. Giacobbe Source: Music Educators Journal, Vol. 58, No. 8, Music in Special Education (Apr., 1972), pp. 40 -43 Published by: MENC: The National Association for Music Education Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3394045 Accessed: 11/11/2008 18:05
In this article, Giacobbe first offers a palette of definitions or what is considered a brain injury; from internal or biological disorders to injury caused by the individual’s environment, development, and traumatic brain injury, there is a wide range of disorders covered. Examples of what would be biological disorders would be distractibility disorders like ADHD and the like, or perseverative disorders like Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
The author then devotes a section to explain the importance of rhythm for humans in an evolutionary sense. The rhythm between day and night, the seasons, tides, and migratory patterns of animals, among others are given to illustrate how we are physically governed and surrounded by rhythm. This helps to emphasize the point rhythm helps to give us a sense of order and structure. This is an important part of why those living with a disorder may improve some area of function by doing exercises using rhythm.
With regard to communication, Giacobbe mentions Goodglass’ study of aphasics. People who have lost the ability to speak, yet can sing a song. Roughly, the author of this study found that some aphasic people could communicate using songs – suggesting that problems in the brain regarding language can be solved by the area of the brain governing music.My experience in this area is such that I suffered a moderate brain injury while I was in Norway as an exchange student. I noticed that afterwards, I could not tell you the way home from school, but I would manage by following cues as they came up. At the time, I was playing drums in a rock band, and I had no trouble remembering the sequence of songs because like the walk home from school, there were cues I could follow along the way. However, I often forgot where I put the drums, etc.