Music is an essential part of daily life for almost everybody. Some people depend on music to get them through the morning hassle, while others depend on music to stay pumped during a workout. A certain song can make us feel joyful, depressed, energetic, or relaxed because music can have such an impact on a person’s mindset and well-being. It should come as no surprise that music therapy has been studied for use in managing various medical conditions. Different forms of music may have therapeutic effects, although music from one’s own background may be most effective.
According to the American Music Therapy Association, “Music Therapy can be defined as the medical and evidence-based use of music interventions to achieve individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a trained professional who has concluded an approved music therapy program”. In simpler terms, music can be used to improve one’s life. Music can improve you socially, cognitively, physically, emotionally, or developmentally.
THERAPEUTIC EFFECTS OF MUSIC
Music has been used throughout human history to convey and influence human emotion. The health advantages of music to patients in Veterans Administration hospitals following World War II became obvious, leading to its use as a complementary healing practice. Degrees in music therapy became available in the late 1940s, and in 1950. Music can be used therapeutically for people who are physical, emotional, social, or cognitive ill. Healthy people can also use music to relax, reduce stress, improve mood, or to accompany exercise. There are no potentially harmful or toxic effects. Music therapists help their patients accomplish a number of goals through music, including improvement of communication, academic strengths, attention span, and motor skills.
MUSIC ENHANCES OUR MENTAL SHARPNESS AND ASSIST IN RELAXATION: Depending on the type and style of sound, music can either increase mental sharpness or assist in relaxation. Memory and learning can be also improved and even children with learning disabilities have recorded good results. With enhanced ability, there is a high tendency for better productivity. This effect may also be partially due to an increased concentration that many people have while listening to music. The term “Mozart effect” was coined after a study carried out showed that college students performed better on math problems when listening to classical music.
MUSIC TAPS INTO OUR MEMORIES: There are scenarios where we were involved in another activity and a song comes on the radio. We are immediately taken back to a certain place, a specific time in our life, or a particular person. Music is second only to smell for its ability to arouse our memory in a very powerful way. Music therapists who have worked with older adults with dementia have numerous stories of how music stimulates their clients to recall their life.
MUSIC IS A SOCIAL EXPERIENCE: Our predecessors bonded and passed on their history and knowledge through song, stories, and dance. Even today, many of our music experiences are shared with a group, whether playing in a band or an elementary music class, listening to jazz at a restaurant, or singing in church choir. Music makes it easy for music therapists to structure and facilitate a group process.
MUSIC HELPS OUR BRAIN: Music often has a predictable steady beat, organized phrases, and a structured form. Most songs today are organized in a verse-chorus structure. They’re organized in a way that we like and enjoy listening to over and over again. Even sound waves that make up a single tone or an entire chord are prearranged in mathematical ratios and our brains really like this predictability and structure.
MUSIC IS SAFE AND MOTIVATING: The reason why, most people enjoy music is because it is not invasive, safe and motivating. This is not the most important reason why music works in therapy, but it’s the icing on the cake.