Melodic intonation therapy: shared insights on how it is done and why it might help

Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2009 Jul:1169:431-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.2009.04859.x.


For more than 100 years, clinicians have noted that patients with nonfluent aphasia are capable of singing words that they cannot speak. Thus, the use of melody and rhythm has long been recommended for improving aphasic patients' fluency, but it was not until 1973 that a music-based treatment [Melodic Intonation Therapy (MIT)] was developed. Our ongoing investigation of MIT's efficacy has provided valuable insight into this therapy's effect on language recovery. Here we share those observations, our additions to the protocol that aim to enhance MIT's benefit, and the rationale that supports them.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aphasia, Broca / therapy*
  • Brain / physiology
  • Humans
  • Music Therapy / methods*
  • Neuronal Plasticity / physiology