Music Therapy

 Music Therapy

Music therapy is one of the expressive therapies, consisting of an

  • interpersonal process in which a trained music therapist uses music and all of its facets—physical, emotional, mental, social, aesthetic, and spiritual—to help clients to improve or maintain their health
  • improve their health across various domains
    • cognitive functioning
    • motor skills
    • emotional and affective development
    • behavior and social skills
    • quality of life
  • by using music experiences
    • free improvisation
    • singing, songwriting
    • listening to and discussing music
    • moving to music
      to achieve treatment goals and objectives.
History of Music Therapy
Music has been used as a healing force for centuries. Music therapy goes back to biblical times, when David played the harp to rid King Saul of a bad spirit. As early as 400 B.C., Hippocrates, Greek father of medicine, played music for his mental patients. Aristotle described music as a force that purified the emotions. In the thirteenth century, Arab hospitals contained music-rooms for the benefit of the patients. In the United States, Native American medicine men often employed chants and dances as a method of healing patients. Music therapy as we know it began in the aftermath of World Wars I and II. Musicians would travel to hospitals, particularly in the United Kingdom, and play music for soldiers suffering from war-related emotional and physical trauma.
Two models
  • Guided Imagery and Music
  • behavioral therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and psychodynamic therapy
Music therapy for young adults help
  • communication
  • attention
  • motivation
  • behavioral problems
Music and mood disorders (clinical depression and bipolar disorder)
Music can contribute to
  • a sense of independence and individuality
  • one’s own self discovery and sense of identity
  • relatable messages that allow him/her to take comfort in knowing that others feel the same way they do
  • creative outlet to release or control emotions and find ways of coping with difficult situations
  • improving one’s mood by reducing stress and lowering anxiety levels, which can help counteract or prevent depression
  • a safe place for self-expression
    life skills such as self-discipline, diligence, and patience
  • confidence and self esteem
Treatment techniques
There are many different music therapy techniques used with adults. The music therapy model is based on various theoretical backgrounds such as psychodynamic, behavioral, and humanistic approaches.
Techniques can be classified as
  • active vs. receptive
  • improvisational vs. structured
The most common techniques in use are
  • musical improvisation, the use of pre-composed songs or music, receptive listening to music, verbal discussion about the music, and the use of creative media outlets incorporated into the music therapy.
  • verbal reflection of the music
Music therapy has been found to be as effective in three distinct categories:
  • behavioral disorders
  • emotional disorders
  • developmental disorders
Music therapists work to
  • increase emotional and cognitive stability
  • identifying contributing factors of current distress
  • initiating changes to alleviate that distress
  • improving quality of life
  • building self-esteem
  • a sense self-worth
  • confidence
Group music therapy can include
  • group discussions concerning moods and emotions in/to music, songwriting, and musical improvisation
  • mood recognition and awareness
  • group cohesion
  • improvement in self-esteem
Music has been shown to affect portions of the brain. Part of this therapy is the ability of music to affect emotions and social interactions:
  • quality of life
  • involvement with the environment
  • expression of feelings
  • awareness and responsiveness
  • positive associations
  • socialization
  • modulation of mood
  • motivation
  • positive emotions