Music Therapy With Hearing Impairments
Music has a transformative power over people of all ages. It can heal physical and emotional pain, motivate and inspire, improve mental health and well-being, as well as aid recovery from hearing impairments, stroke or dementia. Music also assists those suffering from hearing impairments, stroke or dementia to enhance their communication skillsets.
A music therapist is an individual trained in using music to address the needs of patients with disabilities, medical or psychiatric disorders. They collaborate with clients in either clinical or community settings, using techniques like music improvisation, receptive listening and creative music making as needed by each client.
Research has demonstrated that using music to assist those with hearing impairments improve their cognitive and social functioning as well as communication abilities. Furthermore, music stimulates certain brain regions which enhance memory retention, attention spans, and learning.
Music therapy can boost a person’s self-esteem and confidence, as well as enable them to identify tunes and understand what’s being said in noisy places. James, eight years old with sensorineural hearing loss due to pneumococcal meningitis, finds that taking music classes at his mainstream primary school have enabled him to hear better in social settings. He reports feeling less anxious and his language being more fluid – signs that his speech perception skills have significantly improved.
Music therapy offers many advantages to those with hearing impairments, not only emotional benefits but also has been known to reduce agitation and confusion in Alzheimer’s and dementia patients. It may even prove beneficial during invasive procedures like stroke or traumatic brain injury.
Music therapists must possess advanced musical ability as well as the patience and tact needed for working with others. Furthermore, they should have excellent communication skills when dealing with patients and families.
To become a professional music therapist, you must earn your bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university recognized by the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA). Upon graduation, you must complete 1,000 hours of internship and pass a national exam to become licensed and certified as an experienced music therapist.
Studying for a master’s degree in music therapy can provide you with advanced knowledge and prepare you to practice as an experienced professional. The curriculum includes more in-depth coursework that draws upon evidence-based research.
The American Music Therapy Association provides a list of accredited colleges and universities where you can earn your degree in music therapy. These institutions offer entry-level bachelor’s and master’s degrees, as well as postgraduate programs in this field.
Music therapists work in a variety of settings such as hospitals, residential aged care facilities, schools and private practices. They may be full-time or part-time workers and typically put in 40 hours per week. Furthermore, they have the option to enter into contracts with specific organizations for either an hourly or contractual fee.