MS in Harmony is a really engaging resource for people living with multiple sclerosis, like me, to learn about the potential power of music therapy in achieving mind-body harmony.”
Courtney Platt, dancer, choreographer, and actor living with MS
MS in Harmony: An award-winning music therapy resource
Welcome to MS in Harmony, a friendly, supportive, informative space where you can discover the effects of multiple sclerosis (MS) on the body and mind—and the potential effect of music therapy as it relates to the physical, mental, and emotional aspects of MS.
Whether you’re living with MS or the loved one or care partner of a person with MS, you’re taking a great first step in exploring this site.
What’s next? Dive into some videos below or read on to learn a little more about music therapy…
Give music therapy a try—and don't be afraid! You don't need to be musical to do or benefit from music therapy.
Learn about how music therapy may positively impact motor function in people with MSExplore Body videos
See how music therapy may help improve long-term memory storage and recall in people with MSDiscover Mind videos
Courtney Platt is a professional dancer living and thriving with MS. She was diagnosed in 2012 at the age of 23 after experiencing unsettling symptoms while on the Season 7 "So You Think You Can Dance" Tour. Since then, Courtney never stopped dancing and has lent her talents to “Glee,” “VH1’s Hit the Floor,” and “The Simpsons," while remaining heavily involved with MS organizations, including the National MS Society.
The first question I asked my neurologist when I was diagnosed with relapsing MS was 'Will I be able to keep dancing?' Her answer was 'You should never stop dancing. It keeps your mind, body, and soul strong,' which was exactly what I needed to hear.
Music will always be a driving force in
Music has been a tool for me, whether I need to be relaxed, I want to cry, I want to be happy, or I want to get amped in the gym. It’s always been something that has helped me and something I turn to often to make me feel good, to get me to feel like I’m back where I belong."
What is Music Therapy?
Music therapy has been used in conditions like MS for years
Music therapy is an established health profession that uses the effects of music to address individuals’
physical, mental, and emotional needs.
- Music has been shown to affect the:
- amygdala, the part of the brain that regulates emotion and behavior
- hippocampus, the part of our brain that controls memory and learning
- Some people experience sensations like shivers down their spine — or physical reactions like goosebumps — when listening to music. This is due to the measurable effects that music can have on specific parts of our brains
- Music therapy may help promote both mental and physical functional changes in people with neurologic conditions, including multiple sclerosis (MS)
MS damages signaling in the central nervous system. Listening to music has been shown to help improve connectivity between neurons in the brain.
Music and music therapy may have the potential to benefit people with multiple sclerosis
and other neurological diseases in a number of
ways—from the impact that comes with participation in a beloved hobby, to the enrichment of social networks and friendships. Music can also help improve neurological function through the repetitive exercise of cognitive, sensory, and motor pathways. And all these benefits occur while the patient is having fun.”
–James Bowen, MD, Medical Director of the Multiple Sclerosis Center at Swedish Neuroscience Institute in Seattle, WA
We hope you enjoy the videos on this site. Please just remember that they’re not a substitute for individualized sessions with a credentialed music therapist.