Music Therapy Proven to be a Useful Tool

6 Amazing Facts About Music Therapy

Image Courtesy of Children’s National

Music therapy is the clinical and evidence-based use of music to accomplish goals within a therapeutic relationship. Music therapy has been used as a tool in improving many physical and psychological problems. This type of therapy is an expressive form of help that addresses these emotional and mental issues many people are suffering from. Music not only transcends time but provides individualized treatment to help people meet their goals successfully.The trained music therapists at Incadence provide assistance via video call and are here to help anybody at any time. The universal nature of music helps connect people of all ages and backgrounds. There are a lot of factors to music therapy that many people are unaware of.  

Therefore, this article will discuss 6 amazing facts about music therapy which includes:

  • Educational requirements to become a music therapist
  • Help hospitalized patients feel more comfortable 
  • Assisting Autisic children in improving communication capabilities
  • Origin in WWI and WWII veteran hospitals 
  • Assistance in labor and delivery
  • Stimulating various parts of the brain

Professional Requirements For Music Therapists

Educational and Training Criteria in Becoming a Music Therapist

Many may believe that it is fairly easy to become a music therapist, but this is not the case. Aspiring music therapists must take courses in music, biology, psychology, physiology, social and behavioral sciences. In the final two years of coursework, students must gain experience in a health or education setting, and are required to complete twelve-hundred hours of field work in these settings. 

A class of students eagerly learning how to become music therapists. Image courtesy of FSU College of Music

All music therapists must have at least a BA in their field. If interested, an MA or doctoral degree can be obtained to achieve financial and education improvement. All aspiring music therapists must pass the certification exam administered by the Certification Board for Music Therapists. Successful completion of the exam will give designation of Music Therapist - Board Certified or MT-BC. This certification exam must be retaken every five years. Every music therapist at Incadence is board certified!

Helping Hospitalized Patients 

Musical Interventions for Healing

Music therapy is very useful in any clinical setting, especially in hospitals. Music goes hand in hand with pain management. It not only distracts the mind from pain, but can rewire the brain to reinterpret pain signals. Vibrations from music can have psychological effects as well. These vibrations can change the psychological perception of pain into something that can be overridden. 

Music therapy can also improve stress levels, mood, and emotional regulation. Some of these aspects of stress reduction are:

  • Improved respiration 
  • Lower blood pressure 
  • Improved cardiac output

Music lowers anxiety which makes the patient feel better overall. A reduced amount of anxiety can also reduce the number of days spent in the hospital and improve healing. Bringing in music therapists is a great way to help patients in the recovery process and help them endure their current treatments.

Autism and Music Therapy

The Benefits of Music Therapy For Autistic Children

Autism is noticeable within the first three years of a child’s life. Autism is a complex disability that affects development of social, cognitive, and verbal abilities. Music therapy does not only stimulate one hemisphere of the brain, it stimulates both. This means that a music therapist can use music as a way to stimulate cognitive activity as well as encourage interaction with others.

For children with Autism, interacting with others can be a challenge. By introducing a new instrument in their therapy can help the child bond with the instrument first. This will help the child open up to others who also interact with that same instrument. Music therapy is very beneficial for children with Autism and can help build crucial communication skills needed in life.

Music therapy is an effective early intervention for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Image courtesy of Molloy College.

Origin of Music Therapy: WWI & WWII

History Behind Music Therapy and War Veterans

The 20th century profession began after World War I and World War II. Local musicians would go to veteran hospitals and perform for veterans suffering from physical and emotional trauma. The doctors saw notable improvements in both the physical and emotional states of the veterans. These improvements led doctors to hire musicians full time as part of the hospital staff. But, it was soon evident that these musicians needed more training before entering the hospital which incited the need for a college curriculum for music therapy. Considering the historical roots of music therapy and its evolution, exploring an advanced academic path such as the PSYD Program could provide a comprehensive platform for gaining expertise in the field, combining psychological insights with the therapeutic application of music to address diverse mental health challenges.

The healing power of music was witnessed on an unparalleled scale during World War II. This was the first time music was recognized as an agent capable of helping the mentally and physically wounded. Music therapy is a key treatment in helping veterans with PTSD.

Music Therapy Assisted Labor and Delivery 

Music Promotes Comfort and Reduces Pain During Labor and Delivery

Many women choose to have natural births. Music can help take one’s mind off the pain for a little while. Music can also comfort the mother-to-be during the birthing experience. This type of therapy has been proven to decrease anxiety, decrease the need for medications during birth, and has contributed to overall positive feelings about the process of giving birth. 

The use of music along with the support of the music therapist keeps a calm and safe environment for the parent(s) and baby.

Music therapy has been proven to promote comfort in many aspects of life. Image Courtesy of This is Your Brain on Music

Music and the Brain

Neuroscience of Music and Stimulation of the Mind

Music is a method of therapy with a means of accessing and stimulating specific cerebral circuits. Music therapy provokes a response in our brains which leads to changes in emotions. The therapeutic value of music can be seen as facilitating social learning and overall emotional well-being.

Music therapists use techniques to stimulate brain function that controls movement, speech, cognitions, emotions and the senses. Music is a wonder drug that energizes the mind, eases stress, and soothes the soul. Incadence is made up of passionate music therapists who make it their number one goal to improve your overall well-being. 

Edited by Cara Jernigan on January 17, 2021

Haley Wisniewski
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