The connection between music and emotions and the influence it has on both mental and physical health has been acknowledged and recorded for some time. Pythagoras, Plato, and Aristotle all noted the effects of music on our health and behavior and have been used as part of healing arts. Music therapy as a practice began in the 1960s when scientists and doctors recognized its healing power in their clinical trials. During World War, I and World War II armature musicians visited Veterans at hospitals and played for patients that suffered from physical and emotional traumas during the war. The veteran’s emotional response to music resulted in doctors’ requests to hiring musicians for the hospitals. This practice later transcended to music psychotherapy and nowadays they work in a variety of settings such as hospitals, clinics, communal centers, nursing homes, institutional and private practices.
HOW DOES MUSIC PSYCHOTHERAPY WORK?
Music Therapy works on a variety of levels. It has been scientifically recorded that music, especially with a strong rhythmical element, can influence our heart rate and breathing which promotes a release of endorphins (our body’s natural painkillers), it has been shown to reduce muscle tension and promote relaxation. Music can help release repressed memories or negative feelings that can influence behavioral issues.
Music Therapy is an established health profession in which music is used to address physical, emotional, cognitive, spiritual, and social needs. It provides a chance for communication that is helpful to those who find it difficult to express themselves.
PARTICIPATION IN MUSIC THERAPY OFFERS MANY BENEFITS:
- Improves Communication
- Promotes Independence
- Promotes Reality Orientation
- Improves Memory
- Increases Motivation & Participation
- Improves Self-Esteem
- Decreases Stress & Anxiety
- Facilitates Grieving Process
- Provides Relaxation
- Develops Creativity & Sense of Identity
- Improves Social Interaction
- Improves Ability to Make Life Choices
- Promotes Emotional Expression & Spirituality