Music therapy is a complex practice. The Australian Music Therapy Association (AMTA), however, uses the following definition to define it. Music therapy is a profession and practice based on research that uses music to support people in their efforts to improve their health, function and well-being.
Therapy refers to the intentional use music by a trained professional from university who is register with AMTA.
Music therapists are require to adhere to a code ethics and draw upon a large body of research. They use a variety music-making techniques in therapeutic relationships and can found working in many sectors, including the community, early childhood, disability, and health.
Music therapy is different than music education and entertainment in that it focuses on music functioning and health. Music therapists can work with anyone of any age, ability, culture, or background.
Music therapy has use in healing for centuries. However, music therapy was first established in the USA in the 1950s as a profession to aid war veterans with emotional and physical problems. As hospital musicians required training, the demand for university education grew.
The American Association for Music Therapy was found in 1971, and the Australian Association in 1975. It was established by Dr Ruth Bright and Professor Denise Grocke, music therapy pioneers.
Anyone who has ever sung or played a musical instrument knows that music is good for the body, mind, and soul. The benefits are there regardless of whether you’re a professional musician or an amateur.
Music therapists use the music’s benefits to help people of all abilities and ages achieve and maintain good health. They can deliver tailored programs that meet specific needs in hospitals, nursing homes, schools, and other community settings.
Triggers For Oxytocin, Dopamine, And Endorphins
Music therapists use a variety of techniques to help clients. These include singing, writing songs, and structured movement to music activities.
Music’s ability to alter our moods seems to be linked to brain chemicals. Music-making and listening to music can trigger endorphins that provide natural pain relief. Dopamine is responsible for feelings of optimism, power, and buoyancy. This could explain why music-listening can trigger flow or peak experiences.
Group music-making has even greater impact because of the release of oxytocin (a brain tool that builds trust), through shared positive experiences. This is how musical relationships can be encouraged to encourage non-verbal expression and emotion, as well as motivation and confidence.
Neurorehabilitation Using Music Therapy
The brain processes music in many ways. It is connect to memory, emotions, and communication. Brain-scanning technology has shown that music can increase brain activity and create new pathways between the hemispheres.
Therapy is a great option for neurorehabilitation, as the rhythmic organising function of music can use to help rehabilitate speech and movement after a stroke or brain injury.
Music Therapy For Dementia
Music and memory are closely link. This can seen in the emotional flood trigger by listening to significant songs or annoying advertisements that stick in your head.
This feature of music use by music therapists to assist people with memory problems in accessing important information.
Music memory is closely tie to emotions, and both are process deep within the brain. People with dementia often retain song lyrics long after their verbal and other memory abilities have diminished.
Music therapy can often bring out the best in people with dementia. It can also stimulate lucidity and give family members glimpses of the loved one.