Connection between music and emotions and influence of it 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 behaviour and have been used as part of healing arts. Music therapy as a practice began in 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. Veteran’s emotional response to music resulted in doctors request 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 centres, nursing homes, institutional and private practices.
How does Music Psychotherapy work?
Music Therapy works on 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 which 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 Psychotherapy 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