The Power of Music Therapy

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After great practice, Josh Clark learned to spell his last name. This may not seem like a grand accomplishment, but for Josh, it is. Josh has down syndrome. He attends weekly music therapy sessions and his parents are seeing great progress. Mother said, “Within a week, he learned how to spell ‘Clark’. Without music therapy, it would have taken several weeks or several months. So how does music help Josh to learn at a faster rate than without music? Josh’s music therapist knew that Josh was accustomed with the song “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star,” so she used that to help him learn. Josh listened to her sing each letter of his last name to the familiar tune. His mom thinks, “Music therapy helps him to focus. He loves it. He’s always loved music.” It is true that music is a large part of everyone’s lives, whether it is listening to it or playing it. Josh also loves playing the maracas, so his music therapist uses the maracas as a reward for spelling his name. To the average person spelling a name is no big deal, but to Josh’s family and friends, it is much more than that. “He takes a lot longer to learn, but there are a lot more small triumphs,” his mom says (AMTA 2014). This family has seen great results from the music therapy and they are not the only ones. As more people with various therapeutic needs begin to see the benefits of music healing, it has become one of the best forms of treatment. In order to understand why the use of music therapy is growing, one must know what exactly music therapy is. Music Therapy is an established health profession in which music is used within a therapeutic relationship to address physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs of individuals. Music therapy also provides avenues for communicati... ... middle of paper ... specific examples of how music is able to help people. What is Music Therapy | What is Music Therapy? | American Music Therapy Association (AMTA). (2014). Retrieved April 8, 2014, from The American Music Therapy Association website provides information pertaining to what music therapy is, who benefits from it, and how it works. The website discusses the purpose of music therapy being to use music to help people reach goals through relationship with the therapist and the unique music therapy program. It states that music therapy is able to help people with all types of needs, is individualized to the specific client needs, and is a healthy way for people to communicate. The American Music Therapy Association website promotes music therapy and supports the education of music therapists recognized as members.
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