Music Therapy Statistics 2018
Music therapy is a type of psychotherapy in which music helps patients heal and develop interpersonal skills. It’s popular among adults, but can also be utilized with children and adolescents. Typically, this treatment option can be found at long-term care facilities, mental health facilities, hospitals, as well as some outpatient settings.
Music therapy is often an improvisation-based approach, in which patients and therapists create music together using musical instruments and voice work. These improvisation-based interventions may involve singing, playing an instrument, or even composing new music. Some therapists provide structured approaches to improvisational music-making such as “freestyling” which involves using fixed beats and/or musical structure.
In music therapy, there are a range of active interventions that use specific instruments (e.g., keyboards), musical styles (such as jazz or classical), or techniques like singing with the aid of a microphone. These treatments do not adhere to set rules or an established musical structure and can vary in terms of intensity, time commitment, and rhythmic structure.
Stress reduction through music listening interventions has been extensively researched and reviewed in the scientific literature. Results indicate that these treatments can be effective at relieving stress. Nonetheless, it’s essential to note that these effects are mostly due to music’s general influence on one’s emotional response.
Receptive music interventions, however, have not been included in most reviews and meta-analyses examining the effects of music or music therapy on stress. While several studies have demonstrated that these receptive interventions can reduce stress levels among healthy patients (De Witte et al., 2020a), no research has yet examined their effects on those suffering from multiple sclerosis (MID).
One of the key aspects of receptive music interventions is their capacity to transfer the effects of music onto patients, which is usually accomplished through creating a personalized playlist. This playlist may include both recorded improvisations made during therapy sessions as well as preexisting music that appeals to personal taste. The primary aim is for patients to use their personalized playlist for relaxation outside of sessions with their therapist.
Three therapeutic goals were often mentioned in improvisation-based interventions for stress reduction in adults with MID: synchronizing with the patient, relieving tension or stress through self-expression, and stimulating relaxation. Therapists noted that these objectives weren’t isolated but usually worked together or consecutively. Synchronizing with patients serves as the starting point of many improvisational-based treatments while relieving tension and stimulating relaxation are secondary objectives.
Most improvisation-based interventions for stress reduction in adult patients with MID were of an improvisational nature. Most of these improvisations were described as “free” or “open,” meaning there were no predetermined musical structures or rules set before beginning the improvisation. These improvisation-based interventions featured increasing intensity of tempo and clear rhythmic structures which may help release experienced tension. Furthermore, most of these improvisation-based interventions included verbal discussion between patient and therapist following each one.