Modern medicine is the combination of modern technologies and ancient practices. Along with technological advance in medical equipment and treatment, using music to connect to patients is still a reliable practice. Throughout the history of healing practices, music has been used as a remedy. Music is so groundbreaking in the fact that it actually has the ability to affect human beings in so many ways. Music is a huge advantage in a treatment plan as it is calming, strengthening and it can be used for both the physically and mentally ill.
What is music? Where did it come from? According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, music is defined as the science or art of ordering tones or sounds in succession, in combination, and in temporal relationships to produce a composition having unity and continuity (Music). There are many types of genres of music. Examples include classical, rock, rap, techno, metal, acoustic, pop and many others. Music is one of the most popular cultural aspects that we have adopted from ancient societies throughout history. Some forms of music date back to ancient civilizations of Egypt, China, India, Greece and Rome. Music can be used during every day activities such as working out, relaxation, for entertainment and also therapeutic uses. Many types of music therapy have been seen all over the world and also in different time periods. Music Therapy was used in the 20th century for World War One and World War Two veterans. Local musicians were hired to play in the local hospitals where veterans that were suffering both physically, emotionally and mentally were making progress towards recovery. Music therapy is still very common today. It gives an opportunity for a musical therapist to work with people of all different ages and varying disabilities. In order to become a musical therapist, a person must have some special qualities. Some of these include basic understanding of music, the willingness to help people, patience, creativity, empathetic and supportive. According to the Cancer Association society “ Music therapy may be used to encourage emotional expression, promote social interaction, relieve symptoms, and for other purposes.”
The Effects of Music Therapy on Mentally Handicapped People Music therapy is a controversial but effective form of rehabilitation on mentally handicapped people. A great amount of research has been completed on this subject. It has been proven that our brains respond to music as if it were medicine. Music therapy is not a commonly used health care, but recent studies have suggested it can have a wide range of benefits. Music therapy is the prescribed use of music and related strategies, by a qualified therapist, to assist or motivate a person towards specific, non-musical goals.
In the world there are many illnesses and conditions that need therapy. When people think of therapy they may think of the typical methods: speech, physical, vocational, and behavioral therapy. Most people do not think of music therapy. Music has a high impact on the body and brain. There have been traces of music therapy dating back to the Greek philosophers proving that it has been around longer than many other forms of therapy (Graf). Growing steadily, music therapy is recognized in the 1700s and is more prominent today than it has ever been. As the therapy becomes more well-known, the quality of the therapy gets better because of the high standards, requirements and codes. Music therapy is little-known but it is highly-effective and acceptable. It has been around for a long amount of time and the qualifications of a music therapist are very high due to the standards set. Music has a great influence on the body and brain.
Music therapy in the U.S. on the late 18th century. Although the U.S. started using it in the late 18th century, there is evidence of music being used to heal dating back to ancient times. This evidence is in the form of historical writings of ancient civilizations such as Egypt, China and India. The ancient civilizations of Greece and Rome also have evidence of using music to heal. Music therapy is much different now than how it was originally used in ancient times. Music therapy is also evident in biblical scriptures. Although music therapy is not very well heard of but it can be very useful and beneficial to people in a range of ages and those with health issues. There can be some negative effects but research is being done to help a wider range of people, and for the most part music therapy is a wonderful thing. (Notecard 9)
Music and sounds have the power to effect one’s thoughts and emotions. Certain tones, pitches, lyrics, and melodies can invoke happiness, sadness, relief, and confidence. To achieve these emotions with music, many people find it helpful to enroll into music therapy. According to the American Music Therapy Association, music therapy is the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals. These goals may be to manage stress, promote wellness, alleviate pain, enhance memory, or express feelings. Music therapy is widely used in hospital and other inpatient settings, furthermore in outpatient settings and personal use. It is studied in patients and family with cardiac issues, cancer, psychiatric cases, and as general palliative care, as well as other fields. It has been found that women preparing for labor received the greatest benefit of music therapy, followed by medical procedures and occupational stress. (Elliot, 2011)
Music therapy is a health occupation, in which music is harnessed to aid the social, cognitive, physical and emotional needs of patients in a restorative way (Drum Circle Music). Music therapists are specifically trained to play various instruments and even give their patients lessons. Since individuals who seek music therapy have different past experiences, music preferences, and cultural backgrounds, all genres of music are utilized to aid in this innovative healing experience. For instance, my father may not find any progress in music therapy if he were to listen to Gregorian chant during his session; however, another individual may find comfort in this genre. All in all, the effectiveness and length of this program varies because there are many factors within music therapy that contribute to a person’s progress.
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.
Music Therapy is the use of music to treat a range of conditions either physical or mental (Questia, 2017). It can be used to help a range of conditions such as: autism, mental health (for example anxiety and depression), learning disabilities and neuro disabilities (British Association for Music Therapy (BAMT), 2017). This could be proven useful due to its variety of conditions it can help with, it is a very different idea to help people and music in general is very enjoyable and uplifting. It can also be useful for it is a way people can express themselves, there are many cases in which people do not know how to communicate with others or do not like talking about their conditions or how they feel and communication is very important. However,
Music therapy is a psychotherapeutic treatment most commonly used to help children with developmental disabilities. Music as a therapy has been around longer than one might think and "recognized for centuries." (Bunt 179) Many years before that, music was used as a less scientific means of healing by medicine men (Hadley 215). By using music therapy directly, or indirectly, as a developmental aid, many people can be positively effected. When many people can use the treatment, it has to be available in many different locations. More than any other age group, children benefit most.