What is Music Therapy?
All living beings, produce rhythm, sounds and music from within and in relationship with the outside world without effort or will. Our biological patterns range from simple rhythms and vibrations, such as the breath and the heart beat, to the more complex rhythms of the nervous system. Our bodies are instruments and tools we can use to manifest and produce sounds, on a continuum from very choreographed to completely chaotic patterns of experiencing sensation and moving through time and space.
Music Therapy can be defined as the application of music, to aid in the achievement of specific therapeutic goals, as well as to attain and maintain health and wellbeing. Music therapy is offered in individual, family, and group counseling. It is effective in meeting the physical, psychological, cognitive, social, and spiritual needs of the people it serves. It has been shown to have physiological effects on heart-rate, blood pressure, immune system responses, self regulation and neurological function.
As defnined by the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA):
"Music Therapy is an established health profession in which music is used within a therapeutic relationship to address physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs of individuals. After assessing the strengths and needs of each client, the qualified music therapist provides the indicated treatment including creating, singing, moving to, and/or listening to music. Through musical involvement in the therapeutic context, clients' abilities are strengthened and transferred to other areas of their lives. Music therapy also provides avenues for communication that can be helpful to those who find it difficult to express themselves in words. Research in music therapy supportsits effectiveness in many areas such as: overall physical rehabilitation
and facilitating movement, increasing people's
motivation to become engaged in their
treatment, providing emotional support
for clients and their families, and
providing an outlet for expression
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