Music therapy: Healing with the power of rhythm and melody
Have you ever noticed how certain music changes your mood? Most people will accept that music is an essential element of their daily lives and has a significant impact on our mind.
By music, we are not emphasizing cinematic music but the music of nature, the birds chirping, the sound of the wind, or even the rhythmic sound of breathing.
Music therapy is mainly focused on improving the physician and the emotional health of a person with the aid of sound healing therapy.
What is music therapy?
Music therapy can be defined as the clinical and evidence-based use of sound or music to help individuals comprehend their emotions. Music is used to connect with what the individual is going through, and these feelings are given an outlet or are transformed into positive emotions.
This form of therapy can involve either already composed music or allowing them to play with instruments. Music Therapy is a multidisciplinary discipline and is derived from musicology, psychology, acoustics, history, anthropology and neurology.
Some of the common activities done in music therapy sessions are,
1) Listening to different forms of music or sounds
2) Singing along with lyrics of the music
3) Playing an instrument
4) Moving your body with the sound of the music
6) Writing song lyrics
8) Writing music for new songs
What are the types of music therapy?
Music therapy can be classified into different categories according to the music chosen, the therapist’s approach, and what the person expects from the therapy. These categories are mentioned below,
Improvisation – in this approach, the client is allowed to choose the music. The music selected by the client expresses what the person is going through and helps the therapist to have better insights into the clients’ emotions.
Re-Creation – this approach requires more participation from the client. They are asked to repeat the lyrics of the pre-composed song, sing-along, or even mimic a musical instrument. This helps them to become more confident and take control of their emotions.
Active listening – this approach helps the client to feel relaxed. The therapist combines the activity of listening with practices such as meditation to help the client with psychological and physical ailments.
Music therapy, to me, is music performance without the ego. It’s not about entertainment as much as it’s about empathizing. If you can use music to slip past the pain and gather insight into the workings of someone else’s mind, you can begin to fix a problem. – Jodi Picoult
How does Music therapy work?
There are mainly five factors that decide the effectiveness of Music therapy. These factors as follows,
1) Modulation of attention- music therapy helps people direct their attention in one direction and distract their minds from negative emotions or stimuli. This has been very helpful in treating stress, depression and anxiety issues.
2) Modulation of emotion- people with overwhelming emotions because of a recent incident or a chronic disorder can profit from music therapy. Music therapy can be used in the maintenance and modulation of emotions.
3) Modulation of behaviour- music therapy services can help people get better control of their body as it conditions actions involved in the regular patterns of movement involved in walking, speaking, etc.
4) Modulation of cognition- music can modulate cognition as well. As many people experience that certain music can remind you of a certain event from the past and, thus, is related to memory processes.
5) Modulation of communication- music can help therapists understand the feelings and emotions that their clients are going through. Music also acts as a non-verbal form of communication as it projects their feelings without actually saying them.
What are the benefits of music therapy?
The benefits list of music therapy is never-ending. Some of the most-discussed benefits of music therapy are provided below,
1) It can help people improve their memory and cognition. Music can help people in better coordination, problem-solving techniques and boost their physical and psychological endurance.
2) Music is a means of self-expression. People listen to music that represents the emotions that they are going through. People listen to sad music when they feel low; they listen to happy music when they feel good. Thus, music is a creative way to share their feelings.
3) There is enough evidence that suggests that people undergoing music therapy experience reduced anxiety shortly after their session. This signifies that music therapy could be a beneficial approach to reduce symptoms of health issues like depression, anxiety and improve self-awareness in a very short period.
4) It helps people feel more confident and opens up, especially those who are not comfortable communicating verbally. Music acts as a language between the client and the therapist, and they build trust over time till the client is completely satisfied in expressing himself.
Some other benefits of music therapy are,
A lower level of stress and improved mental health.
Controlled group of blood pressure
Helps in pain management
It entails rhythm, notation, order, and movement to help the patient
understand and heal.
Better sleep habits
Lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Music therapy is a versatile approach that can be tailor-made for each individual as per the emotions they are feeling.
It can be an effective and therapeutic method to reduce the effects of many disorders, including depression and anxiety.
“I would teach children music, physics and philosophy; but most importantly music, for the patterns in music and all the arts are the keys to learning.” – Plato