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Therapy of Music

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Essay title: Therapy of Music

There is much more to music than just entertainment. Music Therapy looks deep into one particular function of music from a scientific point of view. A great amount of research has been completed on this practice and it is scientifically proven that our brains respond to music as if it were medicine. Recent studies have suggested that playing an instrument or listening to music can have a wide range of benefits. Music therapy is the prescribed use of music and related strategies, by a qualified therapist, to motivate a person towards specific, non-musical goals. This process is used in order to restore, maintain, and improve emotional, physical and physiological health and well being. At the heart of music therapy is vibration. This is backed up by modern physics, which has taught us that all matter is in a constant state of vibration. Everything has a unique frequency. Illness occurs when some sort of dysfunctional vibration intrudes on the normal one. Sound can be used to change these intruders back to normal. Although music therapy is a fairly new method of health care, it dates back thousands of years. The use of sound and music is the most ancient healing modality. It was practiced in the ancient mystery schools of Egypt, India, and Rome for many thousands of years. Apollo, the mythical god of music and medicine, stopped a plague because he was so pleased with the sacred hymns sung by Greek youths. Pythagoras, who discovered that all music could be expressed in numbers and mathematical formulae, founded a school that trained students to release worry, fear, anger and sorrow through singing and playing musical instruments. (White, 1999) Today, the power of music remains the same, but music is used very differently than it was in ancient times. Music therapy in Europe began in the early 19th century. The specialisation of it began to develop during World War II when music was used in Veterans Administration Hospitals, as an intervention to address traumatic war injuries. Veterans participated in experimental music therapies that focused on relieving pain perception. Many doctors and nurses could see the effect music had on their psychological and emotional state. (Borazon, 1997) Since then, colleges developed programmes to train clinicians how to use music for therapeutic purposes. In 1950 a professional organization was formed by a group of music therapists that worked with veterans, the mentally retarded, and the hearing and visually impaired. This was the beginning of the National Association for Music Therapy (NAMT). In 1998, NAMT joined with another music therapy organization to become what is now known as the British Music Therapy Association (BMTA). BMTA’s mission is “To advance public awareness of the benefits of music therapy and increase access to quality music therapy services in a rapidly changing world.” Music therapy helps people in a crisis and assists those who may be finding it difficult to deal with issues of everyday living. The nature of music therapy encourages the development of positive self-esteem. Even though not everyone is a musician, music therapy can be a way of exploring the human need for self-expression and creativity. (Koch, 1995) Through improvisation and song writing, it can help to identify and resolve conflicts which may be slowing down emotional and personal growth. It can also assist in the rehabilitation of people with speech difficulties and facilitate learning, which provides opportunities for meaningful communication. Music therapy is a process which builds relationships. Because almost everyone responds to music at some level, it can be used to develop a trust relationship with the therapist and with other people. Sometimes music therapy can make all the difference. It can manage pain, increase body movement, lower blood pressure, ease depression, and enhance concentration and creativity. And much more. It is important to be aware that while people may develop musical skills during treatment, these skills are not the main concern of the therapist. Rather it is the affect the musical development will have on the person’s physical and psychological functioning. You can find music therapists working with a wide variety of people. Some include the mentally ill, the physically disabled, those who have been abused, the elderly, the terminally ill, and people with learning disabilities. Because traditional therapeutic remedies rely on language, their effectiveness depends on the person’s ability to verbally interact with the therapist. The language of music is available to everyone regardless of age, disability, or cultural background. Studies have been made on the effects of chanting hymns on human physiology. It has been discovered that by repeating a single word, measurable changes

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