An Introduction to Music Therapy
Music has the power to lift your mood and enhance overall wellbeing in many ways. It can reduce stress, boost motivation levels and give you a feeling of control over life. Furthermore, it helps you relax more deeply and sleep soundly.
Music therapy, a growing field that utilizes music to promote health and healing, has even been studied and used to treat medical conditions! This article will give you an introduction to this exciting field: music therapy!
Music has long been used to help people express their emotions and connect with others in ways that are difficult or impossible to do verbally. Even today, music remains an integral part of culture and continues to shape our lives.
Music therapy became more widely practiced during the 20th century as amateur and professional musicians began performing for patients suffering from physical and emotional trauma (The American Music Therapy Association, n.d.). These professionals had received training as hospital music therapists and could apply their newly acquired techniques in working with patients.
Music therapy has long been recognized as a professional field, with international associations of music therapists and schools to train and supervise professionals. Despite its long history, there remains much to discover about its advantages and effects on mental health.
Music therapy consists of two basic types: receptive and active. Receptive music therapy involves listening to or responding to live or recorded music, which has been scientifically proven to be highly effective at helping patients express their emotions, focus, and relax.
Music therapy is often employed in the treatment of infants and toddlers with developmental delays. It has been known to improve motor skills and enhance speech. Furthermore, music therapy may benefit those suffering from mental health disorders like depression, anxiety or schizophrenia.
Some of the most common forms of music therapy involve singing, chanting, playing an instrument and instrumental composition. Some therapists even utilize guided visual imagery while listening to music.
Music selection is an effective way to introduce new clients to music therapy. Clients are asked to select a song they can relate to and then asked to listen attentively and rate how it makes them feel afterward. This provides valuable feedback about your listeners’ level of understanding as well as building a strong rapport with them.
Music therapy is another popular approach, called Neurologic Music Therapy or NMT, a scientific technique that records the client’s brain before and after they listen to soothing music in order to detect any changes in brain functioning. This therapy has been demonstrated highly beneficial for helping clients with various disorders such as autism or dementia.