Intro to Senior Project

Natania A -

Hello everyone, I am Natania Arun! Welcome to my senior project blog! I am a senior at BASIS Phoenix, and I will be completing my research project on the effects of music therapy on language abilities in patients with Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, Schizophrenia, and Bipolar Disorder. 

As a clarinetist in our school’s symphonic band and as a frequent performer for both the school and the greater community, I have always taken an interest in music and its positive impacts on mental health. I enjoy performing for memory care centers, interacting with the dementia patients, and observing how much my music brings happiness to their day. My interest in the connection between music and neurolinguistics has only grown in high school through both my personal and academic experiences. During my AP Psychology course, I learned about various neurocognitive disorders, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, and how different neurotransmitters play a role in the disease process. Intrigued by the knowledge I gained from my psychology course and wanting to observe the way these disorders present in patients, I began shadowing a psychiatrist at a behavioral health hospital. I was fortunate to see interesting cases of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, and even notice an improvement in patients over the course of a few weeks after taking their medications. 

Furthermore, I have been inspired by my Capstone Linguistics course, in which I learn about phonetics, morphology, phonology, and syntax. Curious about the connection between components of language and the human brain, I completed my final project for Linguistics in the field of neurolinguistics, for which I reviewed previous literature on how language is affected by neurodegenerative disorders and ways that language can be used to diagnose these disorders. I have gained a passion for neurology and psychiatry through my past experiences and am looking forward to conducting this research project, serving as an avenue for me to pursue a career in medicine in the future. 

Through this research project, I am excited to connect my passion for music with my desire to study neurological and psychiatric disorders. I will have the honor to work with my AP Psychology teacher, Ms. Holtzman, as my faculty advisor, as well as a psychiatrist, Dr. Nandni Gupta, and a psychologist, Dr. Julia Lesselyong, as my on-site advisors. My main site for my internship will be Paseo Village, an assisted living facility housing potential participants for my study. The link to the profile pages of my on-site advisors can be found here:

Dr. Nandni Gupta, MD | Phoenix, AZ | Psychiatrist | US News Doctors

Julia Lesselyong, PsyD | Geropsychologist | Arizona, USA (

Here is a link to my project proposal:

Senior Project Research Proposal.docx – Google Docs


Thank you for reading!

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All viewpoints are welcome but profane, threatening, disrespectful, or harassing comments will not be tolerated and are subject to moderation up to, and including, full deletion.

    Great introduction, Natania! I'm so excited for you to start your internship on this project that we've been discussing for months! This research seems right up your alley with your personal, academic, and professional interests. I can't wait to read about what you discover throughout this experience! - Mrs. Holtzman
    Thank you Ms. Holtzman!
    Hi Natania! I think this project is really interesting! I believe this is a really innovative way at looking at language therapy. As I am also in band, I look forward to seeing the impacts of music on language abilities through your research!
    Hi Natania! This is a really unique idea for your project. I love how you connected two things you enjoy and combined them to create this project. I'm excited to see where you project goes!

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