Music is our tool for therapy because of the special way music impacts our brains and bodies.
Music makes us feel good. It triggers emotions, brings back memories, motivates us, and connects us to one another. It can also change our heart rate, how we move, and even how our brains process information.
Music therapists know this not just because we see it in our work every day, but because decades of research and study have proven that music therapy is an effective treatment approach. Music therapists study the science and psychology behind music and use evidence-based techniques in our practice.
What is Music Therapy?
Music therapy is an established healthcare profession where certified therapists use music-based interventions to help people reach health, educational, and wellness goals.
Simply put, music therapists use music to help people.
We do this using music-based techniques that look a lot like singing, playing instruments, listening to music, improvisation, and dance. The difference is that during music therapy, we are intentionally using music as a tool to work towards non-musical goals. These are similar to goals addressed in other types of therapy, such as occupational, physical, speech, and psychotherapy.
For example, music therapists:
Use the rhythmic elements of music to help people improve their gait and movements after a stroke or Parkinson's diagnosis.
Use vocal techniques, like singing & breathing exercises and MIT, to improve speech and diction.
Help people process grief, express their feelings, and cope with mental health issues through lyric analysis and improvisation.
Work with pre-school and school-aged children on goals related to academics, social skills, and developmental milestones through fun and interactive music making experiences.
Help people with Alzheimer's and dementia recall memories and connect with loved ones.
Behind the Music
When you see music therapy in action, it might look like we are just having fun making music. We probably are, but there is so much more going on!
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