What is Music Therapy?
Music is an effective therapeutic tool because it is an enjoyable and practical way to reach the whole person. We live in a world full of music that conveys our journey and reminds us that life is a shared experience. Some of the greatest music is not only an expression of human challenges, but also an effort to overcome them and heal. Music has the power to influence behavior, inspire emotion, and create harmony in all stages of life.
MUSIC THERAPY is an evidenced-based health profession that uses music to address personal goals.
MUSIC THERAPISTS are board-certified practitioners who integrate the power of music with a therapeutic relationship to help people attain an improved experience of life.
Five ways music is used to improve mental health:
1. Listening: Listening to live or recorded music allows participants to process themes with a therapist through self-reflection and lyric analysis.
2. Creative Expression: Through singing, songwriting, composition, creative writing, or art activities, music is used to nurture creativity and healthy emotional expression.
3. Improvisation: Improvisation involves creating music in the moment for a spontaneous expression of feelings. Using instruments or voice, individuals are able to freely express musically what may be difficult to put into words.
4. Relaxation/Meditation: Live or recorded music is used to facilitate music-assisted meditation and guided imagery though music.
5. Music as a Coping Skill: The use of music in daily life is explored as a way to cope with stressors and change, as well as improve quality of life.
For more information on music therapy and mental health care visit The Harmony Resource blog.
To support mental and emotional health, music therapy is used to:
- Improve self-esteem, self-awareness and self-image
- Reduce anxiety
- Improve mood and emotional balance
- Increase motivation
- Improve communication and social skills
- Increase self-expression
- Channel emotions into a productive and
- Process feelings of grief and loss
- Teach music as a meaningful hobby
- Validate and understand emotions
- Encourage positive identity formation
- Teach practical and effective coping skills
- Find meaning in difficult circumstances
- Promote creative talents and creative thinking
- Increase empathy
- Cope with life changes, being bullied, addiction, eating disorders, mood disorders, technology overload, trauma, anxiety, and stress.