How does Music Therapy work?

Music has emerged to be one of the most influential driving tools of life. It helps people to stay healthy both physically and mentally. It has the exceptional power to transcend all the physical and mortal boundaries and reach to a spiritual level. Music knows no barriers for it is a fluid element that helps mortal beings to go beyond what is there in the physical world. There have been several research programs that showed the characteristic development on a statistical way that is brought about by music therapy.

Music therapy did not evolve until the late 18th century when people started taking it seriously and worked accordingly. Everett Thayer Gaston is known to be the Father of Music Therapy for he was the first psychologist who made the proposal of using music as medicine, a tool to cure health issues. Somewhat around the middle of the 19th century it became a successful profession that was taken up by many professionals.

Music therapy is the process of using musical interventions to help enhancing patients’ psychosocial and physical health. It works on different levels including psychological, cognitive,social and social spheres. It helps in the enhancement of all these levels of the patients.

It is an evidence based process that helps patients to engage themselves with the pure serinity of music. This theraputic process has also emerged to be one of the best methods to increase patients’ cognitive stability. It helps people to develop a calm and quite mindset followed achieving a healthy mental health.
After diagnosing patients with the specific problems they suffer from, the therapist goes on to provide treatment that includes songs, instrumental music, meditational music so on and so forth. Different patients require different solutions. Treatment is provided according to the patient’s condition. Instrumental therapy has apparently been declared to be the most effective one among all the other methodologies.
Music therapy also helps patients to enhance their communication skills who find it difficult to express their emotions in words. It helps people to be more stable yet peaceful which eventually helps them attain mental peace.
There are mainly two types of methods that are followed to conduct music therapy sessions:

1. Receptive method: Receptive therapy mainly focuses on an indirect approach that involves activities like listening to pre-recorded songs/instrumental numbers. Although it does not involve patients directly, it still manages to have an immense amount of influence upon the patients’ mental health. It helps them cope up with their contemporary environment. It also enables them to communicate in a better way that helps them express their feelings better.

2. Active method: This method engages the patients in a direct manner. They are advised to engage on a music-making procedure due to which they end up composing several artistic musical numbers which not only helps them to get better at communication skills but it also helps in an alround development.

No matter which technique is being followed, both these methods help people to become better versions of themselves with the help of music. They find a new way of live through a new and fresh perspective. Music therapy therefore helps people to be better humans in terms of all kinds of characteristic developments regardless of their background and past history.

-Suvasree Bandyopadhyay

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