Using music as medicine

Published: Feb. 28, 2019 at 8:27 AM EST
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Music therapy is an established health care profession.

It can be used to treat everything from memory and cognitive issues to emotional and even acute physical pain.

Carla Tanguay has been a board certified music therapist for 17 years. She's the owner of Modulations Therapies in Mount Desert.

As Joy Hollowell shows us, her programs cater to those from one to 101 years old.


"Hello everybody, yes indeed" (singing0

"The way that music is processed in the brain is really powerful and really unique."

As a music therapist, Carla Tanguay is trained to use melodies as a tool to engage areas of the mind. she does one-on-one in home visits as well as group sessions.

Each week, children from an area daycare come to Malvern Belmont Estates in Bar Harbor for an inter-generational musical experience with the residents.

"Music is such a fun and enjoyable way of interacting," explains Tanguay,"and it becomes a powerful way to meet a really wide variety of healthcare, wellness, and educational goals."

Tanguay cites work with Parkinson's patients who can move more fluidly with the sounds of music, or someone who's suffered a stroke and can't speak but will sing.

"Because music is processed in a different part of the brain than speech is," says Tanguay.

Ray Walters calls this the highlight of his week.

"It's wonderful," he says looking around the room. "It's great to be with the children. They feed us, make us happier than if we weren't with them."

"I love when I was hugging Ray and playing with him," says one of the little girls.

Tanguay says it's interactions like this that prove to her just how powerful and universal music therapy can be.

"It's an amazing profession," she says. "I absolutely love what I do, to be able to make a difference in people's lives with music."


If you'd like more information on Carla Tanguay's music therapy services, you can log onto or give them a call at 812-8662.