This trial study, which measured the effectivity of musical cueing combined with treadmill training among Parkinson's Disease sufferers, affected me in an overwhelming way. I have always been a staunch advocate of practicing "music for music's sake" and not as an enabler or a tool to facilitate other learning or to accomplish other extrinsic goals. I do not promote or support the claims that music makes you smarter or that music should be used to build mathematical skills, and have always lumped music therapy in this same category--one that relies upon music to do something beyond simply existing. However, through my encounters with research that shows the transformative effects that music can have on one's overall health, I am evaluating my own value system and beginning to question why should music not be used to its full potential. In accordance, I am looking at the ways through which musical practices can improve the quality of one's health and thus, one's life, and realizing that it is a more indispensable component to our lives than just music on its own.
Several thoughts arise as I reflect on these results. For starters, the benefits that the participating PD patients encountered after an 8-week trial of treadmill training using musical cues hopeful to individuals suffering with PD, as well as other diseases which attack cognitive function, such as dementia and Alzheimer's disease, and possibly even victims of stroke. If music proves an effective tool for remoulding one's brain, forcing in-tact cerebral areas to assume the functions that the primary control-centres no longer support, there is future potential for rehabilitation in a myriad of situations. Patients who are experiencing depression, anxiety or even Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) stand to benefit from the therapeutic benefit of music. I am fascinated to conduct my own trials with individuals suffering from the early onset of both dementia and Parkinson's disease, and also, to test the effectivity of music in more pronounced cases of Alzheimer's. It is ironic, that, in an age of medical advancements technological developments, which are occurring at an alarming rate, the Western societal acceptance of music as a means of healing is only in its developing stages. Music education, therefore, needs to be an all-encompassing goal of not only developing musicians for aesthetic purposes, but also developing music for the health of body, mind and spirit.