Essay about The Amazing Benefits of Music Therapy

Essay about The Amazing Benefits of Music Therapy

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The human brain is made up of interconnected neural networks which fire electrochemical signals in order to release different chemicals and facilitate different functions (Levitin, 2006). This involves massive amounts of cooperation between five ‘main sections’: the frontal lobe, which controls planning, self-control, and signal-interpretation (‘executive functioning’), the parietal lobe, which controls spatial and motor movements, the temporal lobe, which controls hearing and memory, the occipital lobe, which controls vision, and the cerebellum, which controls emotions and plans movement (Levitin, 2006). Each of these sections has several structures within itself (Levitin, 2006). If a part of the brain stops working, it stands to reason that the function which it helps control becomes impaired; this is when cognitive disorders arise (Levitin, 2006). While the ideal treatment for different cognitive disorders is debated, recent research supports that music may provide an option for patients with disorders such as (but not limited to) Alzheimer’s, epilepsy, and autism (Samson, 2009). This paper will explore such experiments, attempting to support that listening to and learning how to play or sing music can promote neuroplasticity, a form of brain ‘training’ that essentially allows it to re-wire and thus ‘cure’ itself (Samson, 2009), in multiple parts of the brain. This paper supports the assertion that such knowledge can be applied to both children and adults with cognitive disorders.
Before the merits of music therapy can be explored, the term ‘music’ must be defined. In this essay, ‘music’ will refer to Western (European and American) instrumental music. Music is built on twelve notes, a collection of tones which are separated...

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...ore integrated (Levitin, 2009).
There is perhaps no human creation more complex than music, a statement which can be proven if one considers the amazing amount of work which is required to process even the simplest of Mozart studies, much less play it. The complex process of musical processing can provide an ideal ‘work-out’ for individuals with cognitive disorders, especially if musical training is provided, which will integrate the entire brain and stimulate neuro-plastic effects. However, the field of music therapy is limited by a lack of literature (Tervanieri, 2009); further research should elaborate on the benefits of playing versus listening for individuals with similar impairments, and investigate the effectiveness of music therapy when applied in a pediatric context. If successfully guided, music therapy could aid the recovery of thousands.

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