The concept of music therapy isn’t one that is hard to understand. After all, music is one of the few things that can lift your mood when you are feeling low. Playing a favourite song when you’re having a bad day can really cheer you up. Listening to music can help us temporarily escape our current stresses and can prompt us to feel a range of sensations – from relaxed to euphoric.
Scientists have come to the conclusion that music is capable of activating areas of the brain to provide a range of health benefits, including soothing anxiety and depression. In fact, experts have suggested that music therapy can help with post-covid recovery.
Read on to find out how it can aid the well-being of both children and adults.
Music therapy uses audio elements, such as sounds, melodies, or rhythms, for therapeutic purposes. It helps the learning process, promotes communication and facilitates interaction between people. With the techniques of this discipline, experts are constantly trying to improve the quality of life of patients with music therapy and study the results. Music therapy has shown great improvement in some patients, both physically and mentally.
Because music is a means of expression and non-verbal communication, its emotional effects are very positive. The benefits of music include alleviating and reducing pain or anxiety and stress levels. Thanks to its ability to relax listeners, music can be added to breathing exercises and some patients with chronic ailments have seen their quality of life improve.
Experts also use music therapy to change a patient’s mood. Unfortunately, some children and young people are forced to spend long periods in hospital. Thanks to the benefits of music, these patients are able to have an ‘escape’. Also, music therapy can combat sadness or depression when combined with other therapies. On a cognitive level, it also helps maintain and direct a person’s focus.
Music therapy works in three main ways:
Patients can create their own music freely within certain limits. This encourages creativity and expression.
Activities for children: Ask them to make up a song with different tones. First, ask for a cheerful one, which usually has an easier beat. Once they have got going, suggest changes to slower or faster tones. They can sing or play instruments.
Activities for adults: Ask them to play instruments with a rhythm that reminds them of the sea. Afterward, you can improvise the sound of rain, a slight sprinkle at first, until it gradually turns into a storm. Make progressive changes to the rhythm.
A song can be sung or an instrument played using an existing piece of music. It can be done by reading the score (or using more basic indications) or from memory. This helps activate memory and concentration.
Activities for children: Try the ‘song game’. Write popular song titles on pieces of paper, cut them out and place them in a bag. The child will select one song at a time and reinterpret that song.
Activities for adults: Ask them to sing or hum the song of an artist or band that you call out. Put it to the test with some old and new songs!
This is where participants listen to already recorded music or live music.
Activities for children: Play a song for the child and ask him/her to move based on what the song says. The goal is for them to pay attention to the rhythm and melody, in order to activate their motor skills.
Activities for adults: Try playing ‘musical bingo’ or ‘musical housie’. This activity is a bit more elaborate, but also very fun and effective. Write a number of song titles on a card or sheet of paper and play them one by one, so that the participants can mark them on their cards. This game is ideal for listening to music in a group.
Though music therapy can be a useful way to help deal with physical ailments and emotional stress, its use in the medical field is still mainly experimental. For most physical and mental conditions, music therapy is seen as an additional treatment but not a primary one. Getting appropriate allopathic care is essential to a quick and full recovery. And make sure this care doesn’t affect your finances. With Future Generali Health Absolute health insurance, you can protect yourself as well as up to 15 members of your family with cover for both physical and mental wellness. This ensures you get the care you need without having to worry about hefty hospital bills and medical costs.