If you are a music lover, you already know how much good music can change your mood.
A piece like Morning from Grieg’s Peer Gynt Suite clearly has an affect on the listener — bringing forward feelings of peace, calm and happiness.
Great music can trigger powerful thoughts and emotions, bring back certain memories, and completely change a person’s state of mind.
Listening to music isn’t just a fun past time.
Researchers have discovered that music is a useful tool for treating conditions like stress, anxiety, and depression.
It can even help patients with serious degenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s disease.
This article will explain how music therapy works and what its main benefits are.
How music therapy works
Music therapy sessions involve the use of music in different ways.
Participants can listen to music, write their own music, or play musical instruments.
Each session is guided by a therapist who will plan the activity around goals that benefit the the client.
Music therapy sessions are relaxing, fun, emotional and highly motivational.
Scientists have discovered that music therapy is effective because music has such a large impact on the brain.
Listening to music will activate parts of the brain responsible for motor actions, creativity, and emotions.
It also creates large scale neural networks connecting each part of the brain together.
These changes to the brain mean that music therapy can:
Create a dramatic emotional impact
Music can completely change your mood.
Listening to a pop song might cause feelings of happiness and optimism, while a piece of classical music might be sad and cathartic.
A music therapist can the emotional impact of music to help a person experience these different emotions in a way that treats a specific mental or physical condition.
Cause a physiological response
Have you ever listened to a dramatic or beautiful piece of music that caused a shiver down your spine?
Music can prompt certain physiological changes in the body, including a faster or slower heart rate and changes to a person’s breathing patterns.
This effect can be useful for treating conditions like anxiety.
Improve concentration levels
Music can be used by therapists to help clients focus their attention and obtain more impulse control.
This can be useful for treating a wide range of ailments ranging from autism to drug addiction.
Listening to music or singing along with music uses the same neural networks as speech.
This enables music therapists to use music to help clients learn to speak again after a brain injury.
Have an effect on how we move
Have you ever felt compelled to tap your feet when listening to a good song?
This compulsion occurs because the body’s motor system is naturally attracted to the rhythmic beats in music.
This can be useful for treating various medical conditions.
Obtain more pleasure from life
Music stimulates the parts of the brain that give us pleasure and a sense of happiness.
This makes music therapy useful for treating people with conditions like anxiety and depression.
Help us remember things
Have you ever heard a song on the radio and immediately been transported back to a time in your life when you listened to that song a lot?
This occurs because the brain connects the sound of different songs with specific memories.
This makes music very useful for treating patients with memory problems or neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s disease.
Benefits of music therapy
Here are some of the ways that music therapy can benefit clients with common medical conditions.
Alzheimer’s disease and dementia
Music therapy has been shown to be effective at reducing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative conditions.
After listening to music, early stage Alzheimer’s patients are more communicative and can recall past events in their life more easily.
For late stage Alzheimer’s patients, listening to music makes them more alert, use more eye contact and facial expressions, and become more physically active.
Autism spectrum disorders
Music therapy can help clients with autism communicate with others, break patterns of isolation, and learn new social skills.
Depression, PTSD, and anxiety
The ability of music to change a person’s mood and get in touch with their emotions makes it useful for treating clients suffering from anxiety or depression.
It can be used to help clients recover from traumatic incidents in their past.
Childbirth and neonatal care
Researchers have discovered that music can make the process of childbirth easier and can even help young infants in neonatal care.
Music therapy is extremely useful for changing a person’s mood and helping them manage stress.
Music provides a stimulus for relaxation that helps the client escape any persistent negative thoughts causing stress.
Music therapy can help clients deal manage their pain.
Multiple studies have found that listening to music or playing music distracts the mind from pain.
This makes it very useful for patients recovering from an illness or those who are terminally ill.
Thanks for reading The Benefits Of Music Therapy.
If you have any comments or questions about music therapy leave a comment below.