Question: What is Music Therapy?
Answer: Music therapy is the clinical use of music to help realize goals set between the patient, and the Musical Therapist.
The realized benefit of music goes back centuries. It is well documented that music can affect our moods, our thoughts and our outlooks. Most of us know what it’s like to find some “Feel good” music to help us through the rough spots. What many may not realize is that it can also affect us physically.
Question: Who benefits from Music Therapy?
Answer: Everyone and anyone can benefit from Music Therapy! Children, adolescents, and adults and even the elderly can benefit from music, and music therapy.
If there is music to dance by, and music to love by; it only stands to reason there would be a musical equivalent to every situation. Music has the ability, through our minds, to change our heart-rate, our blood pressure, and lower the amount of stress hormones being released by our bodies. Research on music therapy is well documented. It is also commonly known among the general public. Mothers and Grandmothers know that a baby can be soothed by a lullabye. Many men whistle, knowing just the music of the whistling can achieve a positive state of mind. Children hum and sing as they play. The use of music therapy is an everyday occurrence, which has just been expanded upon to include not just the sound of music, but the entire concept.
Music therapy not only involves the actual sounds that music makes, but also the lyrics, the tempo, and every other aspect of it. Often the writing of song lyrics can produce a therapeutic affect. It is another art, incorporated into music that allows expression. Song lyrics are often the pathway to the soul. Writing has long been known to achieve a release of emotion. Set to music, it takes on a whole new life.
Music therapy is becoming more widely used in nursing homes. Singing songs helps with memory, as well as mood. There are many older people, suffering from a variety of illnesses that may not even remember their names, but they will remember the words to their favorite songs!
Music is used by expectant mothers, to calm the unborn child, as well as to educate! Many believe this sets the foundation for a calmer, brighter child. Most people use music therapy already in one form or another. We may turn to classical music to calm the stress of a high pressure job. Some put on music with a quick tempo to help them to get motivated for a project.
Music Therapy is all around us, in its simplest sense. Taken a step further, Doctors and Psychologists are using music to enhance the therapeutic benefit of their patients. From the simple, to the scientific, all music has benefits. It is art and science working together to promote the well being of any individual who is open to music’s ability.