This article describes an electronic music program that allows clients with spinal cord injury (SCI) to form musical bands and play songs while performing therapeutic exercise in an occupational therapy program. Clients create the music by activating upper extremity exercise devices that are connected to a synthesizer through a computer. The bands choose the songs they would like to play and meet twice a week for 1 hr to practice. The 8-week program often concludes with a public performance.
The music program is intended to motivate client participation in physical rehabilitation while promoting self-esteem, emotional expression, and peer support. It is based on the model of occupational performance and the theory purposeful activity. To date, 33 persons have taken part. Client, therapist, and public response has been positive because this program highlights the abilities of persons with SCI, thereby encouraging their reintegration into the community.