World Music Therapy Awareness Week

What is World Music Therapy Week? How exactly can you celebrate it? This article will explore ways to celebrate and explain what World Music Therapy Awareness is.

Photo courtesy of David Vilches

Have you ever heard of World Music Therapy Awareness Week? What exactly is this celebration? Many people don’t know about this celebration and its importance to many people who have benefited from music therapy. Music is often coined as the universal language and reaches every part of the world. Music has a tremendous impact on society in different ways, in fact, we can explore history through the lens of music and it gives us another perspective on what was going on at the time. 

This article will explore what music therapy is and its importance, World Music Therapy Week, and how to celebrate it. Read on to find out! 

What is music therapy?

Music can be a great way to communicate and express emotions. According to Cleveland Clinic, “Music therapy is the clinical use of music to accomplish individualized goals such as reducing stress, improving mood and self-expression. It is an evidence-based therapy well-established in the health community. Music therapy experiences may include listening, singing, playing instruments, or composing music. Musical skills or talents are not required to participate.” This is important to many people when treating certain symptoms or conditions. 

The great thing about music therapy is it can be tailored to suit your needs and it’s rather easy to get ahold of it. One of the benefits of music therapy is that it is accessible and many programs are free or charge little fees to use their music therapy services. There are lots of benefits of music therapy when used for positive mental health stimulation.

What are the benefits of music therapy? 

Different people use music therapy for their own specific needs, but there are many benefits overall that may work with your current self-care practice. Research shows that music therapy programs help mental health conditions. The most common conditions are depression, anxiety, trauma survivors, schizophrenia, and mood disorders. 

While scientific data and research has been in the works over the past couple of years, users who are willing to try music therapy have positive things to say about it. People report that their overall mood has improved and it has become a useful coping mechanism in stressful situations. Research so far has shown that it actually helps improve cognitive functions like memory and emotions. There have also been reports of lowering heart rates and blood pressure, and relaxing muscle tension. 

What is Music Therapy Awareness Week? 

The World Federation of Music Therapy (WFMT) is “an international nonprofit organization bringing together music therapy associations and individuals interested in developing and promoting music therapy globally through the exchange of information, collaboration among professionals, and actions.” The WFMT has decided to change World Music Therapy Awareness Day to a week-long event. This celebration will take place from April 10th-15th every year. 

During this week music therapists, supporters, and patients who participate in music therapy are encouraged to engage in activities that embrace the use of music therapy to create a better environment for those who are struggling with different issues. It’s a chance to globalize and spread awareness of music therapy around the world. 

Music therapy is a way to help those who are struggling with a plethora of issues, such as mental health problems, stroke patients, and those in need of physical movement. Photo courtesy of Laith Abuabdu.

How to celebrate World Music Therapy Week?

Now that we understand what WMTW is, we can delve into ways that you can celebrate along with everyone else. When we look at the basis of music therapy, there is one thing in common that every practitioner uses: music. There are a variety of ways the practitioner can use music, but the common denominator is always music. What better way to celebrate than make a playlist with your favorite music? 

Create a playlist and journal

Spotify, Youtube Music, and Apple Music are great ways to create playlists that you can easily access. Adding your favorite songs to a playlist for WMTW is a great way to begin the celebrations. Keeping the themes of mental health in mind for this one, it’s a good idea to journal while you listen to your playlist. 

Journaling is a very easy way to put your feelings into words, while also expressing yourself through your music choices. Start by creating a safe space for yourself, clear off your desk, and get yourself a cup of tea. Lighting a candle to set the mood and grab a pencil and paper. There are no rules to this, so write and listen to your heart's content! 

Physical movements

Music therapy is also a way to get your body moving. There is no better way to express emotion through body language than dance. This is also a healthy way to express emotions because it can feel like a physical weight has been lifted off your shoulders. Do you remember that playlist you made earlier to journal and create a safe space for yourself? The good thing about these interfaces is that you can create multiple playlists.

Create a playlist with your music that gets you moving. It doesn’t have to be dance, but it can be running or lifting weights. Whatever gets you moving is sure to make you feel liberated from issues that you have been dealing with. This is a great way to celebrate. 

Throw a party

There is also the classic celebration of a party for WMTW. This can be done whenever it feels right for you, during the beginning, middle, or end of the week. The key to throwing a great party for WMTW is to create a playlist with songs that everyone will love. Call over your friends and family, bring snacks and treats, and enjoy the company and music. There is also space for dancing here, which encapsulates an important part of music therapy for many people. 

A way to make the party more interesting is creating a theme around the party, with the music to match. You can throw a decades party and queue up music from that time period. Many of the popular time periods are the 1920s, 1980s, and the early 2000s. There are also costume parties and outdoor parties that might make the party a little more interactive. The purpose is to gather with family and friends and enjoy music. 

Gathering with your friends and family to celebrate the importance of WMTW is a great way to get to know them on a deeper level. Photo courtesy of Levi Guzman

What are your takeaways? 

Now that you have learned about WMTW, its importance, and ways to celebrate it, what stood out to you? The great thing about this celebration is that it’s a week long and you can pretty much do whatever you want. It really is all about the awareness that music can really help those in need and that it’s accessible to everyone. What will you be doing for WMTW? Let us know!

Brandee Robles
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