Music is a huge part of everyday life for most people. Some are casual listeners, others live and breathe through it, but the fact is that it’s meant to help people relax, grow, and enjoy themselves in the purest way possible.
Even though it can help us through our hardships without us giving it too much thought, simply listening to your favorite tunes sometimes isn’t enough. Opening up to strangers in regular therapy isn’t too appealing to some people, which paved the way to a new, more approachable means of mental healing – through music.
What are the benefits of music therapy?
The myriad of benefits of music therapy can be categorized into ‘mental’ and ‘physical’, but the fact is that they’re all tightly correlated. Mental exhaustion translates to physical, and vice versa, and sometimes addressing only one of the two creates nothing but a never-ending loop of recurring problems.
Regardless of what disorder, impairment, or illness the patient is suffering from, music therapy can tackle. Some of the most notable benefits a patient undergoing music therapy can reap include:
- Sustainable better mood
- Alleviated pain from physical injuries or deformities
- Encouraged self-expression leading to drastically better self-esteem
- Improved motivation and sharper focus
- Support groups of patients that struggle with the same adversities
Who can benefit from music therapy?
The simplest answer would be ‘everyone and anyone’. Music therapy knows no bounds related to age, gender, or economic class. However, there are different kinds of therapy that are specifically designed to fit different scenarios.
Before any session could commence, a detailed review of the patient is necessary so as to avoid any discomforts. For instance, children react better to younger therapists while seniors find veterans as more credible comfort-wise.
In terms of the needs and particularities of each patient, a therapist aims to make an accurate profile of their physical and mental state while making inquiries regarding their medical records, social preferences, and such. While each session is curated and different from the next, music therapy is meant for everyone without a tinge of discrimination.
The perfect way to help kids focus
There are numerous benefits of music therapy for children, especially if your children are struggling with ADHD and similar focus-oriented behavioral patterns. In fact, the goal of music therapy is to empower the child, help them explore things they may never have had a chance to, and finally to put them in an environment where they can freely express their feelings and emotions.
No matter how many distractions a child can find in everyday life, most are innately attracted to sonic impulses, which is why kids tend to spend the majority of their time in front of a TV. A few notes on a piano, and the patient will invariably gain interest to find out its source.
Kids sometimes revolt against their parents and tend to perceive other types of therapy as punishment. Within a musical environment, they are bound to feel more comfortable, which is the most important prerequisite for any therapy work to be successful.
More effective than most approaches when it comes to children with autism
The benefits of music therapy for children with autism are most pronounced and effective when it comes to improvisational methods. Essentially, therapists are meant to devise special, unique approaches to every individual child, catering to their responsiveness, likings, and modes of expression.
Music therapy has the upper hand over other types simply due to the fact that it combines proactivity, interactivity, verbal, and non-verbal modes of communication.
The bottom line of this approach is to create a friendly, homely environment and allow the children to tap into their musical and emotional affinities and attunements.
Some of the most notable benefits in this field include more pronounced openness to musical stimuli, drastically improved mood, and ultimately, the encouragement of individuality.
Every child is drawn to things they experience for the first time, and the nature of music therapy for children with autism is mainly based on creating different and unique environments with each session.
Finally, there are no drawbacks or potential backfires. During therapy sessions, children are encouraged to explore and to be more themselves. Due to its adaptive nature, music therapy for kids with autism spectrum disorder is an ideal platform for children of all ages while the sessions can potentially continue indefinitely.
Ideal motivator for those struggling with depression
Music can either be a friend or a foe, depending on our mental state and the choice of songs we listen to when we’re feeling gloomy. Of course, there’s more to depression than just feeling down, so simply revising your playlist may not be enough.
Consequentially, the benefits of music therapy for depression mainly revolve around uplifting the spirits, help to get over the emotional traumas, and ultimately, motivation bumps in a musical environment.
People who are struggling with this mental disorder tend to have a hard time opening up through regular means of communication; one of the most notable benefits of music therapy for depression is its non-verbal nature.
Simply being near live music is helpful in the long run, especially if you’ve always wanted to give playing an instrument a shot, to begin with.
In some regards, this type of music therapy can also be perceived as private lessons. The second benefit is being able to learn the basics while receiving help from a professional, so you’ll end the day learning a brand-new skill. However, music education isn’t classified as regular music therapy, although the person will be at least indirectly exposed to it.
If the choice of music the person with depression is listening to is detrimental to their health, the therapist’s aim is to help design a more positive set of tunes with respect to the actual taste of the patient. Obviously, songs that remind people of a breakup, losing a loved one, or generally a tough period in life are the first to be eliminated from the playlist.
Unfortunately, music therapy isn’t a de facto cure for it, but it’s more than enough to help people stand on their own two feet, which is a prerequisite for winning the battle with depression.
Hopefully, this brief guide was useful to you in getting a better understanding of the benefits of music therapy. It's said that music can heal many wounds and this was our way to showcase only some of those methods. Remember that you can always talk to your child's music teacher to learn more about this and other professionals to see what's the best way to move forward with your child and music education.