Music Therapy Research Paper
Music therapy is a form of psychological intervention in which clients are encouraged to express their emotions through music. It has applications in treating physical, emotional, cognitive and social conditions. This approach draws upon Nordoff-Robbins’ humanistic philosophy which emphasizes the power of music-making to foster personal growth, develop skills and achieve social satisfaction regardless of pathology, illness or disability.
Studies have demonstrated that music can help alleviate symptoms of mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety by elevating a patient’s mood and self-esteem. It has even been known to enhance quality of life for those suffering from psychiatric disorders like schizophrenia.
Music has numerous health benefits, such as improving sleep quality (Mayers and Baldwin, 2006). Listening to music can help patients enter a meditative state that promotes relaxation. It can also be an effective tool for practicing yoga, hypnosis and guided imagery – just to name a few!
Research suggests a type of vibroacoustic therapy using low-frequency sound can ease symptoms associated with Parkinson’s disease, fibromyalgia and depression. In this music-based technique, patients lie on mats or beds embedded with speakers to produce vibrations at specific frequencies which are then absorbed into their bodies according to Lee Bartel, PhD – music professor at University of Toronto.
Music therapists can also prescribe passive interventions, such as guided imagery recordings with music. These are usually distributed through digital psychotherapy platforms like Quenza and can be accessed on a smartphone or tablet at the client’s convenience.
Many of these digital tools can be tailored to each client’s requirements and even feature music choices and a customizable playlist. These alternatives may be ideal for people with limited resources who cannot easily travel to the therapist’s office.
Another advantage of music is that it serves as a form of distraction, helping patients forget about their problems. This is especially helpful in instances when clients have memory or attention problems such as children with ADHD.
Music’s positive effects can be further magnified through the application of various techniques and approaches, such as guided imagery and improvised songs. These strategies and approaches can be utilized in individual sessions or group settings.
Research has also shown that music can be combined with various stress-relieving exercises and activities, such as meditation. In these types of sessions, a music therapist might play a song which contains elements like rhythmic patterning or harmonies to stimulate the brain into entering a meditative mode.
Researchers have noted that music can be used to develop various skills, such as rhythmic movement or singing. Furthermore, musicians can be taught how to interpret musical material for therapeutic purposes.
To understand the global structure of music therapy research, we conducted a bibliometric analysis of the most popular publications from 2000 to 2019. The findings show that annual publications in music therapy research have significantly increased over the past two decades and show an upward trend. Furthermore, North America and Europe seem to be the most productive regions or countries within this field.