Music is a powerful tool!
Music is downright amazing. It can be used to teach, to inspire, and even frighten an audience. It has been used for centuries in social gatherings, in churches, in schools, and even in therapy, which is obviously what we are focusing on today.
What exactly is music therapy and who does it help?
There are many different types of music therapists – from trained music therapists with thousands of hours of psychotherepuetic training, to casual bedside musicians. Music can have many benefits for those suffering with mental health disorders. It has been shown to be effective in helping those with conditions such as depression, autism, PTSD, and dementia – along with many others.
A few things that you might do in a casual musical therapy session include: listening to soothing music to relax, learning to play an instrument to help with motor skills, learning a song and using it as a mnemonic device, engaging in lyrical analysis to help improve cognitive function, playing in drumming circles to help create a stronger social circle – among many, many others.
How does it help?
In those suffering with depression, for example, studies have shown that music therapy may help increase responsiveness to antidepressants. It’s also shown to help with heart rate, blood pressure, and overall mood. Patients with autism often show a higher than average interest in music, and using music as a teaching tool for them has proved relatively successful compared to traditional methods. Lastly, in patients with PTSD and dementia, music therapy has been shown to improve mood, reduce feelings of aggression and agitation, improve memory, and even decrease the risk of heart and/or brain disease!
Above and beyond!
There are many unique uses for music. From improving your mood to improving your memory – music therapy is a very fun, accessible and healthy form of therapy! If this post peaked your interest in music therapy, feel free to learn more at the American Music Therapy Association website.