The following information regarding music therapy was taken from the American Music Therapy Association webpage.
Who can benefit from music therapy?
People of all ages with mental health needs, developmental and learning disabilities, Alzheimer’s disease and other aging related conditions, substance abuse problems, brain injuries, physical disabilities, or acute and chronic pain, including mothers in labor can benefit from services.
How Does Music Therapy Make a Difference with Young Children?
- Music stimulates all of the senses and involves the child at many levels. This “multimodal approach” facilitates many developmental skills.
- Quality learning and maximum participation occur when children are permitted to experience the joy of play. The medium of music therapy allows this play to occur naturally and frequently.
- Music is highly motivating, yet it can also have a calming and relaxing effect.
- Enjoyable music activities are designed to be success-oriented and make children feel better about themselves.
- Music therapy can help a child manage pain and stressful situations.
- Music can encourage socialization, self-expression, communication, and motor development.
- Because the brain processes music in both hemispheres, music can stimulate cognitive functioning and may be used for remediation of some speech/language skills.
How Does Music Therapy Make a Difference for Individuals with Diagnoses on the Autism Spectrum?
Music therapy provides a unique variety of music experiences in an intentional and developmentally appropriate manner to effect changes in behavior and facilitate development of skills.
The literature reports that most individuals with ASDrespond positively to music. People with ASD often show a heightened interest and response to music, making it an excellent therapeutic tool for workingwith them.
Music is a very basic human response, spanning all degrees of ability/disability. Music therapists are able to meet clients at their own levels and allow them to grow from there. The malleability of music makes it a medium that can be adapted to meet the needs of each individual. Music is motivating and enjoyable. Music can promote relatedness, relaxation, learning, and self-expression. Music therapy addresses multiple developmental issues simultaneously. Music therapy can provide successoriented opportunities for achievement and mastery. The structure and sensory input inherent in music help to establish response and role expectations, positive interactions, and organization.
For more information regarding music therapy and specific population please visit: http://www.musictherapy.org/research/factsheets/
Music Therapy with Older Adults
Music therapy can benefit older adults working to restore health and functioning; aid in achieving social, emotional, communicative, and motor goals; and support those receiving hospice or respite care. Through the use of music-based intervention, music therapy targets clients’ unique goals, as determined by caregivers, doctors, and therapists. Interventions led by a board certified music therapist utilize active music making and listening to address non-musical goals in a way that allows clients to participate in therapy in a stress-free and enjoyable setting. Group music therapy also provides the distinctive opportunity for residential clients to socialize through shared experience while learning new leisure skills that allow them to meaningfully participate in the community. Music therapy can also help families coping with hospice placement by providing support and pain management, while facilitating memory making.