Music heals you; it makes you feel better! No matter what you are going through in life, your favorite number has the power to clear your head and lift your spirit. But do you know music therapy is actually used by doctors and experts to help people improve their health in emotional, social, motor, sensory, motor, social, and cognitive domains by using receptive as well as active music experiences? Music has proven to improve the quality of life of people. Here is how music heals you and what music therapy is all about.

How Music Heals You: The History of Music Therapy

Music is a way that people use to show their emotions. Music transcends time, and history is proof of that. The human race has been using music therapy for centuries to treat many mental and physical problems.

Dating back to the twentieth century, traveling music groups used to play music for the hospitalized veterans amid the World Wars. Doctors and hospital workers found the music so impactful that they requested the musicians to play at the hospital. Music served as a healer for the patients. To play for therapy, these musicians had to be properly trained. It was then that universities and colleges began including music therapy as part of their curriculum.

Michigan State University was the first one to do this in the year 1944. The first-ever major professional music therapy organization was set up in 1950. It came to be known as NAMT- National Association for Music Therapy. In 1998, the NAMTA and American Association for Music Therapy were merged to form AMTA- American Music Therapy Association.

The objective of AMTA is to spread awareness about music therapy services and promote the progress of research, training, and professional standards in music therapy.

Music Therapy: Who All Can Benefit?

There are many ways music therapy benefits you, but who all should seek for it. Well, there are a lot of people who can benefit from music therapy. Since music has plenty of genres, there are many ways music can heal people. Below are some of the ailments that music therapy can help ease.

  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Autism
  • Depression
  • Dementia
  • Mood-related concerns
  • Personality Issues, etc.

Experts have also found positive results while treating people with critical ailments such as hypertension, cancer, brain injuries, and Alzheimer’s. Music therapy helps enhance as well as assess emotional, social, cognitive, and motor functioning.

How Does Music Therapy Benefit You?

On a basic level, music therapy can be divided into two types of techniques- active and receptive. Now the question is what is the difference between the two methods is. Well, here is the answer.

Active Techniques: In these techniques, an individual engages in the process of making music. It could be chanting, singing, composing, or playing a musical instrument.

Receptive Techniques: These techniques involve people responding to or listening to music. People react to music by dancing or analyzing lyrics.

Often, therapists use active as well as receptive techniques to treat people. People can opt for group or one-on-one sessions, whichever they find the most comfortable. Music therapists select the kind of music that suits the patient and set goals accordingly.

Below are some of the way music therapy benefits you:

  • Music therapy helps people who face difficulty speaking after a stroke. Music therapists make them sing short phrases and words to improve their fluency.
  • It also benefits children with autism who find it difficult to socialize with people. The children are often asked to imagine and explain the emotional state of the musician performing.
  • Music therapy also benefits people with impaired motor skills. Music therapists make them play simplified melodies on the piano or make them do light drumbeating.
  • Some other techniques are group drumming circles that help people relax and nurture a feeling of connectedness.

In a nutshell, music therapy is beneficial in a lot of ways. So, whenever you are low, listen to some lively music and feel all alive.

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