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Unique MS Center Is Using Music as Treatment

September 10th, 2015


The Grabski MS Center in the northern Israeli town of Migdal Haemek is using music to provide therapy for their residents. The breakthrough program allows the patients, some of which unable to move, to play music.

“The feeling the patients get from playing music is extraordinary,” said Eitan Lewis of Thalamus RDM, a research and design team which created the program. “What this symbolizes is there are no limits,” Lewis said.

The program uses technologies that are very sensitive to slight movements, to allow the residents with limited mobility to compose and play music. The live-in facility provides a great quality of life to the residents, incorporating programs like psychotherapy, art and ceramics.

The facility incorporates residents of all different levels of ability, but 90% could not even hold a guitar. Kobi Visel wanted every resident to be able to play music so with the help of Thalamus CEO Dor Azriel and some biology students, they were able to create this special technology.

The music room includes eight stations which can be used simultaneously by patients. Colored, motion sensitive lights are beamed down from the ceiling. There are screens behind each station, along with drums, guitars and a keyboard. Sensors measure the movements of the residents, who can choose which instruments’ sounds they want to hear with an app. Different movements make different sounds; a wave of an arm, for example, can sound like the strumming of a guitar.


The room gives residents an opportunity to exercise, even if all they do is lift their fingers. The program helps them do movements they are usually not used to, like shoulder exercises.

Unique MS Center Is Using Music as Treatment - Thu September 10, 2015 11:52 AM