Should I use Modulated Music or Quickshifts?

For the last 17 years, the hallmark series in the Therapeutic Listening® library consisted of the modulated albums.  Recently, the new Quickshift series has proved to be a powerful adjunct to any treatment session or home program.  However, therapists sometimes wonder how and when to implement each series of music?

These two series of albums can be used independent of one another or combined together to create a powerful Therapeutic Listening® progression. Which series or sequence of albums you select will depend on a client’s overall clinical picture and the general principles behind the music. The following is a brief description of each series of music and the corresponding clinical picture to which each is most effectively matched.

Modulated Albums

The collection of modulated albums uses a type of filtering that activates the focusing mechanism of the middle ear. The purpose of the middle ear feedback loops is to tune into what is important, attune to the environment, and others around them. The intent of modulated albums is to train the mechanisms of the middle ear to (1) shift between the foreground and background, and (2) focus on the speech sounds, thus supporting auditory attention.  Additionally, when we engage the focusing mechanism of the middle ear, we prime the neurophysiologic centers for regulation and social engagement.

In terms of clinical applications, therapists often select the modulated albums for individuals who are not able to tune into their environment or others around them. Modulated music is often appropriate when a client experiences:

  • Difficulties orienting to sounds
  • Dysregulation in noisy environments, often identified through assessing behavior in loud environments
  • Auditory defensiveness
  • Sensory defensiveness with “spatial elements”, as identified by low frequency sound sensitivities and anxiety around movement
  • Difficulties with social engagement, including but not limited to challenges positioning body, limited facial expression, lack of vocal prosody, and difficulty understanding social cues of others
  • History of ear infections

Quickshift Albums

The Quickshift album series incorporates an understanding of auditory-motor entrainment and binaural beat technology to impact the brain’s electrical firing pattern (brainwaves); specifically entraining the brain’s firing pattern to the alpha state.  In these albums, a binaural beat is created by shifting the frequency content between the right and the left channels (right and left ear). The frequency difference between the two ears creates a third pulse; the brain perceives the difference as the binaural beat.

The Quickshift albums provide clients with the flexibility to be utilized anytime, anyplace for an immediate impact on function. Whether your client utilizes them as part of a sensory diet, in treatment only, or as an adjunct to Therapeutic Listening® these albums support relaxed yet focused attention, an integrated learning state, and serve as an optimal selection for times of relaxation and recovery. Additionally, the music within each Quickshift album has been specifically selected and sequenced based upon the musical properties and functional application.

Therapists often select the Quickshift albums for individuals who need to reset their arousal level or lack the ability to come back down to a regulated state following stressful events. These albums are appropriate for a variety of settings (clinic, school, home) and for individuals throughout the age span. Quickshift albums are often appropriate when a client experiences:

  • Symptoms of anxiety
  • Self-regulation
  • Physical symptoms of stress and trauma (patterns of defense held in the body)
  • Poor bilateral motor coordination and praxis
  • Sound sensitivities with extreme anxiety around specific auditory environments
  • Difficulty with transitions
  • Inflexibility, getting ‘stuck’, or rigid in routines
  • Self-injurious behaviors

During the initial evaluation the therapist can then use a combination of standardized assessment tools, clinical observations, and clinical interview to gather relevant client information. The combination of information gathered will inform functional goals and identify the most appropriate initial music selection based upon the aforementioned criteria. If you would like to obtain addition information on either one of these auditory-based tools please visit the corresponding page: Therapeutic Listening® or Quickshifts.

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2 Comments on: “Should I use Modulated Music or Quickshifts?

  1. What do you think about Quickshift use in an Emotionally Disturbed high school classroom using Self Reg 1 in a.m. and Self Reg 2 in p.m. Are there any age parameters?


    • Hello Margo,

      Thank you for your question. We have found Regulation 1 and Regulation 2 appropriate for a wide variety of ages. In terms of using it within a classroom environment, we recommend prior to using the albums with the whole group that you trial the album with the individual person. This would ensure that the selected album for the group is also the best match for the individuals in the group as each person is unique in their musical matches.

      Let us know how it goes!

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