Music As Therapy

Music As Therapy
There was never a question in my mind that music possesses a strong element to help people. It has always been a stress reliever in my life. There is research that supports the belief that music is an instrumental part or impact on a wider realm of physical and mental disorders or disabilities. Music is known to set the mood or atmosphere for all types of situations. There is extensive research completed on this subject.
Just take a look around. When you look at a movie it is filled with just the right music at the right time to convey the way the writer/ director wants you to feel. Call any major corporation for customer service assistance and you will here hold music to make you feel less tense and patient. This usually has an adverse affect because we know what they?re trying to do.Music Therapy is the prescribed use of music and musical interventions to restore, maintain, and improve emotional, physical, physiological, and spiritual health and well-being. These are the key elements which define interventions as music therapy. Music Therapy is goal oriented and provides a system to work towards a specific therapeutic goal and objective. Goals identified can include communicative, academic, motor emotional and social skills. In the end the music development learned in the sessions hopefully have a relaxing, positive effect on the client?s physical, psychological and socio-economical functioning. Music Therapy became a profession in 1950 with the establishment of the National Association for Music Therapy and the American Association for Music Therapy Association. (amta) There were nonmusical goals set for the professional setting. ?They included: improving communication skills, decreasing inappropriate behavior, improving academic and motor skills, increasing attention span, strengthening social and leisure skills, pain management and stress reduction. Music therapy can also help individuals on their journey of self-growth and understanding.? (Music Therapy faq) A method called, the Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music. The technique is better known as gim. It was developed by a music therapist named Dr. Helen Bonny. ?When used as a therapeutic tool, gim can lead to a deep uncovering of hidden emotional response and stimulate creative insights. (Music Therapy faq) The 20th century discipline began after World War I and wwii when community musicians of all types, both amateur and professional, went to Veteran hospitals around the country to play for the thousands of the patients. Notable physical and emotional responses to music led the doctors and nurses to request the hiring of musicians by the hospitals. It was soon evident that the hospital musicians needed some prior training before entering the facility and so the demand grew for a college curriculum. The first music therapy degree program in the world, founded at Michigan State University in 1944, celebrated its 50th anniversary in 1994. The American Music Therapy Association was founded in 1998 as a union or the National Association for Music Therapy and the American Association for Music Therapy.

In order for these sessions to take place the system needs people to teach the system. These are the dedicated ones that work one on one with clients with the disorders. Music Therapists design music sessions for individuals and groups based on client needs using music improvisation. Currently Music Therapists have to complete on of the approved college music therapy curricula (including an internship) are then eligible to sit for nation examination offered by the Certification board for the Music Therapists. Music Therapists who successfully complete the independently administered examination hold the music therapist-board certified credential (MT-BC)

Music is for the healthy as well as the unhealthy. Music is a significant mood-changer and reliever of stress, working on many levels at once. Many experts theorize it is the rhythm of the music or the beat that has the calming effect on us although we may not be very conscious about it. They point out that when we were a baby in our mother?s womb, we probably were influenced by the heart beat of our mother. ( Holistic-Online) We respond to the soothing music at later stages in life, perhaps associating it with the safe, relaxing, protective environment provided by our mother. There were some baffling findings on some of the extensive research on what any given piece of music produces in the physiological response system. Many of the so-called Meditation and Relaxation recordings actually produced adverse eeg patterns, just as bad as hard rock and heavy metal. Many selections of Celtic, Native American as well as other music contain loud drums or flutes were extremely soothing. Live performances were also found beneficial (at moderately loud volumes). Whenever the proper sounds were experienced amazing right / left brain hemisphere synchronization occurred. The entire human energetic system is extremely influenced by sounds, the physical body and charka centers respond specifically to certain tones and frequencies. In the 1990?s new research suggested that some of Mozart?s music may be beneficial for developing spatial intelligence. Mozart?s music came highly recommended and is best organized for orderly time/ space/ spatial perception. Music is an international sensation for having such a dynamic impact on humans. Music is culturally based and has history. Classical music may stand the test of time.
There are Music Therapist and music therapy centers world wide. There are many goals to reach using the music therapy technique. Some include: creating a non-abusive lifestyle, decrease in stress and anxiety, decrease of fear, promoting independence, improvement of social skills, improve self-esteem and there are others. Music stimulates the brain, emotions, and body simultaneously. Many entertaining artists are spokespersons for amta, play at national conference, volunteer their time, and give money for the worthy cause.
There are many music therapy testimonies from patients and recorded examples by doctors. One example is sixty-eight-year-old Oleen Peterson fell in her bathtub in December of 2002 she injured her hip. In order to help her walk again, physical therapist Val Szpunar did not get anywhere and Peterson did not make any progress. Birchell, certified music therapists asked Okeen what kind of music she liked. Birchell responded with Elvis Presley. After that she was on the road to recovery. With Birchells help and Elvis?s help she was able to walk 100 feet in time to the song. Before long in subsequent sessions, Birchell increased the speed of the song and Peterson quickened her stride to keep up with the beat. In two weeks, Peterson went from 65 to 90 steps per minute. The sessions were fun instead of plain hard work.
A burgeoning amount of research shows music therapy can reduce pain, increase white blood cell counts, lessen nausea and vomiting, and have many other positive physical and mental effects. Music is truly magic. Music therapists prove every single day that music is powerful medicine. It has a great affect on tearing down the walls of silence and affliction of Alzheimer?s, depression, injuries, healing. And did you know that kids, who study the arts, do an average of forty points higher in math and science? Music education is superior to even computer instruction in enhancing early childhood mental capacity and special intelligence. Music therapists prove every single day that music is powerful medicine. (Richards Institute of Education and Research) Music is Magic.

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