Music therapy is an established healthcare profession that is evidence-based and uses music to address physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs of individuals of all ages. Music therapy improves quality of life and meets the needs of children and adults with disabilities and illnesses. Each therapy session is tailored to the client’s specific needs and unique abilities. A music therapist is a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music therapy program. Music therapy interventions can address a variety of healthcare and educational goals:
Promote physical rehabilitation
Connect with spiritual resources
Q. What does a music therapist do?
A. Music therapists assess emotional well-being, physical health, social functioning, communication abilities, and cognitive skills through musical responses; design music sessions for individuals and groups based on client needs using music improvisation, receptive music listening, song writing, lyric discussion, music and imagery, music performance, and learning through music; participate in ongoing evaluation and follow up.
Q. Who can benefit from music therapy?
A. Children, adolescents, adults, elderly with mental health needs, developmental and learning disabilities, Alzheimer's disease and other aging related conditions, substance abuse problems, brain injuries, physical disabilities, cancer patients, and acute and chronic pain, including mothers in labor.
Q. Do I need to know how to play an instrument to benefit from music therapy?
A. No prior musical experience is required to participate in music therapy. Also, all genres of music can be useful in effecting change in the client’s life.
Q. How long are sessions?
A. Therapy sessions are 30 and 60 minutes in length.
Music therapy can be therapeutic by relieving stress, altering mood, and assisting in relaxation.
Music is something that is present daily in life because of its calming effects, while in work, walking through the mall, in restaurants, spas, hospitals, and almost everywhere frequented by people each day. People need a means to help decrease the negative effects of the pressures of everyday life. Music therapy can be therapeutic by relieving stress, altering mood, and assisting in relaxation.
Begin by finding preferred music to promote positive effects
Maintain positive alteration in mood by practicing the use of personal music choice
Assist in relaxation
Begin by searching for music that assists in relaxation
Continue to use when needed for relaxation
Music therapy can be successful in producing positive effects. The use of this therapy is becoming more recognized in helping to reduce the negative effects of daily life. By introducing music therapy to daily routines the overall attitude and outlook about life can become more optimistic and greatly improved.
Valerie A.Vitello RN
When I listen to music I often fail to recognize the effects it has on alleviating stress, altering my mood or helping me to relax. We all listen to music whether it be by actually tuning in to it on the various modes available or by the music that is present in the areas we visit or spend time at day to day. I believe most people take the positive benefits that music can have for granted. Listening or actually playing a musical instrument can offer positive effects and can be of assistance in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Often during the day, we are so busy we barely notice the sounds of music playing unless it is a song or melody that we recognize and at that point you may find yourself humming or singing along. When we decide to listen to music we will choose the type of music that we are familiar with or enjoy to promote a desired effect. How often do we actually notice that the sounds of music have affected us in any way? Do we realize that the music we listen to passively or intentionally actually has an impact on how we feel? Let us explore that notion in the following accounts of how music as a form of therapy affects us on a daily basis.
“Music therapy is the use of music to gain physical and emotional healing and wellness”. The therapy can include listening to music, making music or both. Music is something that is often included in activities of daily life because of its calming effects, while in work, walking through the mall, in restaurants, spas, hospitals, and almost everywhere frequented by people each day. Music has become recognized as a mode of treatment. Schools and Colleges offer courses to obtain a degree as a Music Therapist. There are many advantages in choosing this as a treatment for example; it is a low cost and safe mode that can be used in a medical setting as well as in a person’s daily life. People need a means to help decrease the negative effects that the pressures of everyday life can have on healthy individuals as well as for those afflicted with mental or physical illness.
Music therapy is not the same for everyone. There is not just one form. It takes on many different forms according to individual needs or preference. Music is a personal preference, for example if you do not like rock music it is not going to elicit the same response as it would for someone who enjoys this genre. So to insure that the appropriate and positive benefits as well as the intended response is achieved it is important that proper research is conducted to find the precise selection of music. It has been noted that emotional and physiological changes occur when stimulative and sedative music are chosen. Revealing that both produce feelings of joy, elated mood and energy and sedative music produces feelings of calmness and relaxation. “Imagine any part of your life or any aspect of our culture without music. Now put music back in. Music therapy can be therapeutic for healthy individuals as well as for non-conventional treatment to aid in the healing process for those suffering from physical and mental illness by relieving stress, altering mood, and assisting in relaxation.
Music can be used as a non-conventional therapeutic treatment for physical and mental illness to help reduce anxiety and stress due to its calming affects. Music therapy is as old as the writings of Aristotle and Plato. In the 20th century a community of amateur and professional musicians made visits to Veteran’s Hospitals around the country and played for thousands of veterans suffering from the affects of both physical and mental trauma from serving in World War I and World War II. The patient’s exhibited notable positive responses and it became evident that music therapy has a positive impact.
The following example helps to provide additional evidence of the positive effects music can have on patients. It was recorded that a young man in an Atlanta hospital that had been in a coma for 14 years had a positive response by opening his eyes to the song “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” performed for him in his hospital room by Patti LaBelle one of his favorite recording artists. His mother was convinced that her son felt and heard the beauty of her voice. The response to the sound of Patti LaBelle’s voice as demonstrated by this young man in a coma is just one example of the immense power that music and the simple sound of a voice can stimulate and arouse the senses of a person assumed unresponsive. This example offers proof that music therapy is and can be incorporated into any regimen developed to assist in the healing process. This response may have been a diversion for this young man that reduced stress and perhaps aided him to relax and enjoy the music and voice of one of his favorite entertainers.
A board certified music therapist can create a personal program in a clinical setting to help alleviate stress and anxiety as well as assist in rehabilitation, pain management, helps improve cognitive ability and support various other areas of the healing process.
Music therapy is also beneficial for healthy individuals. Stress reduction can be achieved via active music making, such as drumming. Keep in mind music can do wonders in alleviating stress but not everyone has the same taste is music. You have to choose music that you are comfortable with listening to, because forcing yourself to listening to music that you do not like can cause stress not ease it.
Music therapy offers both physical and mental benefits it has an effect on blood pressure, temperature, heart rate and tension. Instead of the use of traditional medicine, choosing a favorite genre of music that promotes feelings of calmness can become a source for individuals to help relieve feelings of stress. When you consider the stress encountered daily it becomes apparent that relieving and eliminating it will improve many areas of your life. When we are feeling stressed it is not easy to focus and continue on with daily life. It becomes increasingly difficult to enjoy all the joys that life has to offer. Introducing a favorite type of music to the activities you do each day can assist in lessening and alleviating the negative effects that stress can have on the mind and the body.
Music can have a profound effect on emotions. When an individual is feeling sad or has feelings of depression choosing a favorite song or songs that promote feelings of happiness or joy can alter the mood to an elated state. Music provides the soundtrack to many of life experiences. In every persons life there have been occasions or even daily activities that have been enhanced by the choice of music that is stimulating to that person. There have been various studies conducted to examine the effect music has on mood. “It has been suggested that music may be used as a resource for creating and sustaining mood, well-being and physiological balance”.
Music has been used for decades to enhance the mood for every day experiences. Different genres are often selected according to the occasion. For any event or occasion the appropriate choice of music can set the tone of the experience. There have been various studies conducted to examine the effect music has on mood. All have concluded that music is an integral and important factor that is used by all cultures. The right choice of music stimulates the senses. Let’s talk about the importance of music to enhance life experiences. Music is an important component of weddings, funerals, parties, restaurants, movies, work, and most areas where people dwell. Let’s discuss some examples of the types of music that would be selected for a wedding. This selection would most likely include music that has been written about love and relationships as well as upbeat dance music. Basically a suitable choice of music at a wedding should generate feelings of happiness and joy. On the other hand, at a funeral you would most likely choose music that has a solemn tone that may provoke feelings of sadness or reflection. Often at a funeral you may listen to music that is a tribute to the deceased like their favorite song or a collection of music that is reminiscent.
Another example of the right choice of music to cause a specific response is the soundtrack chosen for a movie. Careful consideration is taken to select the appropriate music to enhance and stimulate a certain response for the viewer. How about the music that is chosen at your favorite restaurant? The correct assortment of music can improve and enhance the dining experience. For example, at an authentic Italian restaurant you would expect to hear the sounds of Frank Sinatra and other artists that are specific to this genre. The sounds of the right music set the mood and ultimately become part of the experience allowing the diner to be relaxed and comfortable which in the end creates a positive reaction. As you can see the use of music can add to the success of any occasion or business by enhancing or contributing to its theme.
Most of us live in a fast paced “gotta get it done “as quick as possible type of world. Daily life has become full of deadlines and often people feel that there is not enough time in a day to get everything accomplished. So when it is time to relax and fall asleep often it is difficult. Relaxation and sleep are important and necessary to maintain good health and to aid in the return of good health for those with mental and physical illness. For many years music therapy has been used to help with relaxation and as a sleep aid. Perhaps it is the rhythm of the music or the beat that has the calming effect on us although we may not be very conscious about it. The selection of soothing or sedative music can help promote feelings of calmness to assist in relaxation and also can be used as a sleep aid. This therapy can be used in conjunction with or as an alternative to traditional medicine. The use of music therapy is a safe choice because it has no side effects allowing it to be a welcome choice for healthy individuals as well as those suffering with any illness. In a healthcare setting the addition of music to the daily regimen of traditional sleep aids is an easy, safe way to help patients to achieve appropriate rest when in the process of healing. Another benefit of this form of therapy is the low cost. Many people already have a collection of favorite music which includes a selection of soothing melodies. Also the radio and computer have stations specifically dedicated to this type of music. As you can see this is a very easy, safe and affordable way to assist in the relaxation and sleep process.
As you can see the use of music therapy incorporated into daily activities can enhance and improve quality of life for healthy individuals as well as for those afflicted with mental or physical illness. It can enhance and create a positive experience when used daily or for special occasions. The positive effects of music therapy can be achieved either actively or passively by playing a musical instrument or by listening to a song or piece of music. The power that music has on our emotions is real. The benefits that it can afford each one of us should not be taken for granted. Its healing power and its effectiveness are extremely valuable. The benefits of music therapy also include it to be a low cost, effective, safe mode of therapy allowing it to be available to anyone. It is an extremely beneficial therapy to facilitate feelings of well being in any area of life for the healthy and the sick. When it used in a clinical setting it has proven to affect the ill in a positive and therapeutic manner assisting in the healing process. The correct selection of music can be chosen as the background of our lives can help to stimulate feelings of calmness, happiness, joy and well being. Provoking these feelings can be beneficial in aiding in the healing process for the sick. The appropriate music can set the tone for life experiences.
In a clinical setting examples of the impact as exhibited by the young man in a coma have been given regarding the response to the sounds of music and singing and its effects on the ill. Music is an important and necessary addition to daily life. It provides a diversion to the stimulants in life that cause stress. It helps to decrease stress and its negative effects it can have on health. Music is an excellent form of non-conventional medicine. It provides a means to alter mood to a positive state and it can assist in the relaxation process and help to guide you into a peaceful restful sleep.
So there is no risk taken in the choice of music therapy as an alternative means to decrease the effects of daily living. It can be used to help anyone who is searching for a non medicinal mode of treatment for the negative affects daily life brings.
With a little creativity we all can achieve the benefits of music therapy. Through careful research and the selection of a number of our favorite songs or music combined to create a soundtrack that assists in producing feelings of calmness, joy, relaxation and well being we all can live a healthy well balanced existence.
Valerie A.Vitello RN
Music helps in many ways. It will boost brainpower, improve memory, help socially and it teaches discipline and builds confidence.
One on one private music lessons work the best. You can pick up many bad habits learning on line.