Music is known for how it can evoke deep emotions from its listeners; from sadness, to love, to loneliness, to happiness, and everything in between, music undoubtedly expresses human emotions in a very profound way.
What is music therapy?
Music therapy is the research-based use of music in a clinical setting by a licensed professional whose purposeful aim is to improve the mental and physical health of their clients. Music therapists are not only trained as musicians, but they are also highly educated in the field of music therapy through bachelors, masters, and/or doctoral degrees at accredited institutions. It’s important to note that there is a distinction between music AS therapy and music therapy; while music can be used therapeutically, such as when someone listens to a song at home to boost their mood, it is not considered music therapy unless there is a certified music therapist present.
Where do music therapists work?
Music therapists work in a variety of clinical settings, such as hospitals, schools, nursing homes, private practices, and so many more. Although music therapy has been officially practiced for decades, it’s still considered a relatively new field, so the clinical populations are still expanding. This is largely due to how flexible music is, which allows it to be applied in a multitude of ways in a therapeutic setting.
Who can benefit from music therapy?
Music therapists work with clients from all walks of life, some who suffer from depression, anxiety, grief, and other emotional health issues. As well, music therapy is used with rehabilitation after events such as a stroke or a head injury. It’s been used for both physical and mental rehabilitation, like improving motor function and speech therapy. Music has a remarkable affect on humans and, when used by a certified music therapist, can help improve their mental and physical well being through music therapy.
Music therapy with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia
One of the well known populations of music therapy is with people with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Through the use of music, they often come alive and are more responsive and coherent for a time. Music therapy has also been shows to reduce anxiety and depression with people suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia.
Improving quality of life
Music is involved in so many aspects of our lives, so it naturally has a powerful effect on our minds, bodies, and behaviors. By using music as the impetus for change, music therapists help their clients improve their quality of life in countless ways. For more information, explore the American Music Therapy Associations website at https://www.musictherapy.org/.