Not all conditions or disorders need to be treated exclusively with medicines, as there are more melodious and less invasive treatments, such as music therapy. This practice is gaining more and more ground and, fortunately, its positive effects can be noticed from the first day in both children and adults.
There are numerous informative articles that explain the complexity of music and everything that is needed to be able to compose a piece of music, no matter how simple it may seem. It is therefore to be expected that the arduous process that goes into composing, producing, singing and playing the instruments in a song has a significant impact on listeners.
The effect of music on people can be seen in its ability to cause our emotions to be on the surface. You can easily find a relaxing song or one that makes you feel energized. Also, there are songs that usually cause sadness, while others manage to raise anyone’s spirits.
Although this happens occasionally, there are professionals who, taking advantage of the power of music, manage to use it to carry out music therapy. In this way, they help different types of people to make great strides in different areas of life.
What is music therapy?
To achieve a better understanding of the subject, the definition of music therapy is that given by the World Federation of Music Therapy.
This organization, in its 2011 review, defines the activity as: “The professional use of music and its elements as an intervention in medical, educational and daily environments with individuals, groups, families or communities that seek to optimize their quality of life. life and improve their health and physical, social, communicative, emotional, intellectual and spiritual well-being.”
What are the benefits of music therapy?
Having a music therapy session provides comprehensive well-being to all participants. Depending on the frequency with which it is performed and the music used, the effects may vary. For that reason, it is necessary that all music therapy exercises and dynamics be performed by a qualified music therapist.
After a session or a treatment of several encounters with therapeutic music, people, including children, may experience an improvement in the physical, mental and emotional fields, such as those detailed below:
Music therapy has been shown to be extremely effective in treating anxiety disorders, depression and chronic stress, which reduces its physical effects to provide greater peace of mind.
In addition to that, using music as therapy can also help preserve and improve mobility in the joints. It is also effective in maintaining muscle.
Recently, a video emerged on the internet of an elderly woman sitting in her wheelchair who, despite having Alzheimer’s, managed to remember the choreography she performed decades ago just by listening to the music of “Swan Lake”.
This is just a sample of the power of music on our brains and how it can positively influence people’s minds.
Although in this video only an isolated situation is seen, when people suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia are subjected to music therapy treatment, they manage to maintain a higher cognitive level, which helps them cope with their conditions.
Making use of music to activate the mind, the stimuli of the melodies manage to activate the center of the mind dedicated to memory, also increasing the ability to concentrate and maintain attention. To this is added an increase in learning capacity, language and an improvement in orientation.
Music can also help people to be less fearful in social interactions, increasing self-esteem and preventing self-absorption and isolation.
Music therapy for children with autism spectrum disorders
Autism is a disorder that is becoming more widely known and, although there is no cure, there are ways to help children who suffer from this condition to improve some of their abilities in order to develop in a healthy way in their environment.
Autistic children usually have two noticeable characteristics: an excessive interest in a specific area in which they tend to excel, and difficulty with social interaction, including sometimes a slow development in communication skills.
Music can serve as a means that allows children to communicate effectively with those close to them and, in addition, it can also serve as a calming device when children are going through a crisis.
Constant exposure to music can also positively influence the interests of these children, allowing them to develop in this field and become great musicians, if they so wish.
The use of music therapy for autism is still being studied, however, its benefits are already known.
Music and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
Whether a person suffers from ADD or ADHD, a music therapy treatment that focuses on using melodies with slow and harmonious tempos can calm the impulses of these people, especially in children. Likewise, it can help them with the control of these impulses to keep them at bay when necessary. Some children can even use music to facilitate concentration, which can undoubtedly make them better at school.
For milder cases, even if children are not undergoing music therapy treatment, soft melodies can be used at specific times of the day to help them relax. So if a child is having trouble going to bed, placing them in a comfy winter baby sleeping bag and turning on the stereo may be all it takes to focus their attention on the music and get them into a state of mindfulness. optimal relaxation.
Music therapy and its study advance considerably every year, and if adopted as a treatment for various situations, it could mark significant changes in the lives of many people around the world. Whether performed to live music using digital guitars and pianos, or to recordings of relaxing classical instrumental music, music therapy is a way to keep our brains active and our emotions in a good place.