Music therapy is the use of musical interventions in therapy. For a therapist to apply Music treatment in his programs, he must have been approved and completed a program in Music treatment. In other words, music therapy is the use of music to improve the physical health and the emotional health of a patient in a therapy relationship. There are several ways which the music therapist helps in improving the health of their clients. This are; the therapist may help improve the social skills of a patient, the emotional skills and emotional development of an individual that is how an individual responds to stressful situations. Music treatment applies both the music receptive experiences, composition and listening to music to achieve the goals laid for the therapy.
Dating back from the ancient times, the Greeks believed that music could health both the body of a person and the soul. The ancient Americans also performed music rituals for their sick patients so that they could be healed. During the world war II, music was used by the soldiers as a way of treating those soldiers who were experiencing trauma experiences from the battlefield. It was Michigan States University that started the first-degree program for music therapy and the word spread all over the world. In the current world, seventy universities and above are offering the Music treatment program. This means more and more music therapists are being released into the job market every year.
Music Therapy Research
Researchers have placed a lot of effort on Music treatment both qualitative and quantitative research. There is a lot of relationships that are found between music and the mental health and the emotional health of the listeners or the clients in a therapy relationship. Music therapy was found to incorporate some practices other than listening to music that may improve the achievement of the laid down goals for the Music treatment.
Some of these activities may include; performance of developmental work. This will help improve the communication skills and the motor skills of the clients. This activity applies best to the clients with special needs. For the elderly clients, the therapist can engage them in activities that entail songwriting and listening. For the patients who have a stroke, rhythmical entertainment can be used this is to physically rehabilitate the patients who are diagnosed with a stroke.
Music Therapy in Institutions
In most cases, Music treatment is used in institutions such as the medical hospitals, rehabilitation centers for patients with cancer, nursing homes for the elderly, correction facilities and rehabilitation centers for the drug addicts. Each institution requires different interventions as far as Music treatment is concerned.
There are two different forms which Music treatment comes in that is the receptive music therapy and the active form of Music treatment. Active music therapy entails a setup where both the therapist and his or her client are actively involved in the writing, composition, creation of vocals and the use of the organs in playing music. Active Music treatment enhances the creativity level of the patients such that they are able to come up with vocals themselves and also the music lyrics.
The other form of music therapy is the receptive form. In the setting of this therapy, it only the therapist who is involved in the creation of the musical interventions, the vocals and the use of the organs to make the music lively. The work of the client in this form of Music treatment is to sit down relax and listen to the music as it is being played by the therapist and meditate on the meaning of the lyrics. This form is usually one way as it is the therapist who chooses what to play at what time without the contribution of the client unless stated otherwise. This form of music therapy limits the creativity of the clients and they become fully dependent on the therapist.
Extensive research has shown that music is the most efficient and effective tool that is used in Music treatment. Music is known to reduce the anxiety level of an individual, improve the functionality of the heart and help the brain to function more efficiently (Gutgsell, 828). It is also known to improve the learning ability of individuals. All this will contribute to a healthy being both in the physical health, emotional health and the mental health.
Music Therapists Techniques
Music therapist chooses from a wide range of techniques as learned so that they can achieve the best result depending on the situation brought to them by the client. In the hospital, music therapists can be employed so that they can help reduce the stress level of the patients soon before they visit the surgery room and after they undergo the surgery. Research has shown that children who underwent surgery when listening to music were less distrusted throughout the process and after the process than the children who underwent surgery when not listening to music (Zengin, 693). Research has also shown that patients who were diagnosed with various mental illness improved drastically soon after they underwent the music therapy.
The needs of the population keep on changing that is what was needed yesterday in Music treatment may not be needed today (Breitenfeld, 212). This means that as a music therapist, one needs to remain on their toes to keep up with the new trends in the music therapy industry. It is due to this reason that the music therapists are interested in the most recent psychological theories as this will form a reliable base for various types of music interventions in therapy.
Continued evaluation is recommended for the therapist to determine how far the interventions have gone as far as the achievement of goals is concerned. This will also help determine whether the interventions are helpful to the client or not. If the interventions are not helpful, the therapist may seek improvement through modification. The modification will call for an effective client feedback so that the therapist knows what areas to improve on to meet the needs of the clients.
Neuroscientist came up with one of the interventions that are used in Music healing and they named it “neurological Music healing .” It entails the study of how music stimulates the brain that is studying the nature of the brain when the music is on and the nature of the brain when the music is off (Cook,242). The difference in the two scenarios is recorded and the observation is used by the therapist to cause the required change in the brain through the right music. This changes that are caused in the brain will eventually cause some changes in the client which are non-musical in nature.
Music healing is grouped in a certain category of therapy known as the occupational therapy. This type of therapy is applied by teachers in learning institutions with students who have a disability in learning. Research has shown that music therapy positively impacts the lives of children who have learning disabilities both in the social aspect and in the academic aspect (Jones, 18). This is because the Music healing usually improves the expression skills of the children such that they can express themselves more fluently by using a language and sentence structures that can be easily understood. It will also help the children who have a disability to control themselves as far as emotions and anger are concerned.
Music cure is being utilized in the healthcare services. Research has shown that Music cure impacts positively on the lives of people living with cancer (Burns, 225). Music is known to reduce stress and anxiety. Cancer patients are faced with anxiety and stress as the disease has no found cure yet. Music therapist, therefore, comes into the aid of the cancer patients, not with an intention of curing cancer using music but reducing the patient’s anxiety by providing relaxation that is so much needed by the cancer patients.
Music cure is the use of music to aid in the improvement of patients in both mental and physical health. Music therapy itself cannot be used as a form of treatment but it aids in the recovery process of the patients by making it fast. Music cure is very useful in the medical center to help calm the patients who are undergoing surgery and it should be recommended to patients before and after undergoing surgery. Music therapy is also useful to aid in the learning of mentally disabled children. It also helps relieve the stress and anxiety of cancer patients.
- Breitenfeld, Darko. “New Developments in Music Therapy.” International Review of Music Aesthetics and Sociology, vol. 1, no. 2, 1970, pp. 212–213.
- Burns, Debra S., et al. “Music cure is associated with family perception of more spiritual support and decreased breathing problems in cancer patients receiving hospice care.” Journal of pain and symptom management 50.2 (2015): 225-231.
- Cook, Erin Lane, and Michael J. Silverman. “Effects of Music cure on spirituality with patients on a medical oncology/haematology unit: a mixed-methods approach.” The Arts in Psychotherapy 40.2 (2013): 239-244.
- Gutgsell, Kathy Jo, et al. “Music cure reduces pain in palliative care patients: a randomized controlled trial.” Journal of Pain and Symptom Management 45.5 (2013): 822-831.
- Jones, Sara K. “Teaching students with disabilities: A review of music education research as it relates to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.” Update: Applications of Research in Music Education 34.1 (2015): 13-23.
- Zengin, Suat, et al. “Effects of Music remedy on pain and anxiety in patients undergoing port catheter placement procedure.” Complementary therapies in medicine 21.6 (2013): 689-696.