Music affects the brain and also the body , since it activates certain brain areas related to mood and the state of mind.
What is Music Therapy?
Music therapy is a therapy that uses music to improve the patient’s health and well-being.Stimulating the mind is essential as it is the operational centre where all the sensations and emotions that we humans perceive and express are processed, understood and brought together.
Music is a sensory experience that can activate all brain areas simultaneously . Therefore, it is useful in therapy because it triggers the functioning of the brain in the emotional, cognitive and physical sense. With new research emerging on music therapy, it has been shown to be useful in rehabilitation, education and wellness programs.
This type of therapy is effective in treating certain disorders or improving the patient’s quality of life, and it works in two ways: active (playing instruments, singing, playing music) and receptive (using music to induce states of relaxation). Other techniques and art forms are also used simultaneously with music, such as drama, dance or painting.
How does Music Therapy work?
The Music Therapist works on different aspects of the person, such as
- Sensory aspects : working on the ability to respond to sensory stimuli received.
- Motor aspects : the coordination, balance and mobility of the patient.
- Cognitive aspects : memory, learning, imagination or attention.
- Social-emotional aspects : works on intelligence and control of emotions, as well as emotional expression or self-knowledge of one’s emotions.
Music Therapy Utilities
Since music is an accessible and attractive stimulus, it has a great influence on patients and they receive therapy in a pleasant way. Music therapy professionals select and apply music in a way that brings psychological and physical benefits .
This type of therapy works perfectly to solve psychological problems, rehabilitate drug addicts, reduce pain in terminal illnesses, improve self-esteem, or treat learning difficulties.
7 reasons to use Music Therapy
- Music is a basic function of our brain . Already at an early age mothers often calm their children with “nanas” (lullabies). This shows that the brains of young children already tolerate music and its benefits very well.
- Music entertains our body . Our body is naturally entertained by music, and it is easy to make rhythmic movements. When we listen to music, it enters our brain to process it, but it also has an effect on our motor system. That is why music therapists use this tool to help people who have had a stroke regain mobility.
- We have physiological reactions when we listen to music . Every time the breathing speeds up, the heart rate increases and you feel the music running down your spine. Music therapy can help stimulate a person who is in a coma or it can help a conscious person to relax.
- Infants and children respond to music . Any parent will know that already at an early age it is natural for children and babies to respond to musical stimuli. From an early age they dance and enjoy musical sounds. On the other hand, children learn easily through art and music, so it is a great educational tool.
- Music penetrates even the emotions . Since music stimulates the amygdala, it can make you feel sad, happy, energetic, motivated, etc. The way music accesses emotions is very useful for music therapists.
- Music helps to improve learning. Many infant teachers use methods such as learning the alphabet or colours through songs. Music is effective in memorising and evoking past memories.
- Music therapy is a non-invasive and motivational therapy . We all like music, and this is one of the most important reasons why music therapy works.