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The Ronnie Gardiner Method An Innovative Music-Based Intervention

A key issue in neurorehabilitation is to improve or restore physical and psychosocial abilities, aiming to maximize activity and participation . In recent years, an innovative rhythm-and-music-based rehabilitation program has successfully been implemented across Europe, as well as in several non-European countries. The Ronnie Gardiner Method (RGM) was created in the 1980s by the Swedish jazz musician Ronnie Gardiner. RGM is now widely used within different settings such as neurological rehabilitation for people with stroke, Parkinson’s disease (PD), and multiple sclerosis, as well as in patients with dementia and depression. It is also used in programs targeting healthy aging, ADHD, autism, and dyslexia, and in ordinary school environments. The combination of music and other augmented sensory information, as well as multi-tasking movement exercises, makes it a potentially powerful tool in rehabilitation. RGM is described as an exercise regimen that challenges motor and cognitive-related abilities by its multi-tasking nature, and is conceptualized as a music-based intervention, i.e., an experimental protocol that uses music in various forms to aid therapeutic effects . Because RGM is ‘a physical activity that is planned, structured, and repetitive, aiming to increase or maintain physical fitness’ it also meets the criteria for an exercise intervention. The research on the efficacy of RGM is still scarce, but a few scientific trials within the field of neurorehabilitation have thus far shown promising results. A Swedish randomized controlled study on stroke survivors found that the intervention facilitated the participant’s own perception of recovery, as well as long-lasting improvements concerning balance, grip force, and working memory. Individual interviews were also undertaken with participants to explore personal experiences.

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