Music Therapy is a process in which trained music therapists use music to relieve patients from stress. Music Therapy is relatively new technique which is designed to create harness in the patients in some form so that their personal lives can improved. It is observed that music therapy has emphasized patients to gain extra level of functionality in motor skills, cognitive functioning, improvements in behaviours and social skills. Music is considered as an effective healer and rightly so described in the Bible where David played his music with the use of harp ease his depression (Aldridge, 32). Researches have shown that music places a calming effect on mind and allows relaxing of the body and most of the time person is unconscious about the calming impact of this music. Even children are used to sleep quickly when a light song is sung to them. Thus music therapy can alleviate stress and tension in the adults as well if properly organized.
Music therapy like all other therapies does requires a treatment plan and this can be devised by the physicians, psychologists and music experts as all of them have a speciality which they collectively use to for an effective mode of treatment. However, this planning is not that easy and requires in depth knowledge of the patient’s needs and complete understanding of the behaviour (Aldridge, 56). There is no hard and fast rule for the designing of treatment and can take time to clearly dignify what works best for any particular patient.
Research conducted in the aspects of music therapy has shown that the beat of the music impacts the brainwaves. If the music is fast beating, it allows brainwaves to become active and move with the beat of music, this causes sharpness in the concentration levels of the individuals. Moreover if the music has slow beat, it allows a calming effect on the mind and allows the individual to go in the meditative state. If this kind of music is constantly is listened, it can create a lasting effect. Similarly, the change in beat of the music also impacts other parts of the body such as heartbeat rate. Thus a slower beat creating a slower heartbeat forming a calm impact on the mind. Moreover, music if played rightly can take an individual to positive state where he can become more responsive and proactive. The freshness in the mind can then allow better functioning of whole body and consequently better prospects in the living methods. The benefits of music unlimited as it is believed and resulted from the research that music can also lower blood pressure which can in future provide avoidance of strokes and heart attacks. The music can ease muscle tension and also causes the blood to flow swiftly in all parts of the body directly impacting the immune system of the body. Many researchers also believe that music also impacts the motivation levels of the individuals. In addition to the increasing of the motivation level, it is believed that if the music therapy is used with the traditional physical therapy the results became more beneficial for the patients (Boso, 189). Researches have shown that the level of change that can be created in individuals is dependent upon many factors such as the stress level, lack of understanding of music etc. On case to case basis it cannot always be assumed that same music will be beneficial for all of the patients .The benefits have increased over time with more research that has been put into the kind of therapy. Therefore it can rightly be stated that music therapy has become an important mode of relieving tension and stress and creating an everlasting change in the individuals’ life (Whipple, 92). Lately the domain of the music therapy has increased to various patients. Currently research is being carried out for the patients who require rehabilitation. The research that was carried out in this regard focused on the stroke patients. The program included intensive trainings for more than 3 weeks and required patients to exhibit motor movements in order to play different musical instruments. Another group of same patients was subjected to traditional rehabilitation program and the results were very encouraging where music greatly emphasized the overall behaviours of the patients with increase in confidence, motivation and an increasing urge to live a healthy and working life (Whipple, 101).
There have been criticisms as well regarding very effective position of music therapy. First of all it is believed that music cannot be the only source for change. Music therapist has to create a strong interpersonal relation with the patient. This relationship has to be extremely close that would allow both of them to understand each other. After this has happened, music therapist has to analyze the requirements of music and then so forth the process continues. The social changes that include the strengthening of relationship with wife and other family members are greatly emphasized by the relation between the therapist and the patient (Boso, 190). Therefore the conditioning process cannot be considered complete without the music therapist who exactly knows what he is doing.
In United States music therapy has an old history when it was first included as an undergraduate degree in Michigan State University in 1944 and later on as a graduate degree program in University of Kansas. The research kept on taking place in these institutions and then various universities started it as an important part of their curriculum. In 1998 American Music Therapy Association was formed. Though music therapy is still not common in many countries, in America it is considered as an important professional where the licensing authorities are present which allow the practicing of the music therapists (Aldridge, 89). Various certification programs have also been initialized lately emphasizing on it as an important mode of therapy. Another major reason for the much attention that is given to the music therapy is the social state of the American society which is constantly gaining tension and stress because of the workloads and other normal duties of life. Each year number of the people taking drugs like sleeping pills is increasing and research shows that nearly 70% of the people are somehow addicted to some stress relieving drug. The major reason therefore is the relaxation which is continuously increasing in the population, and music therapy is working very well as an alternative to these drugs (Boso, 188). More people are being encouraged to get involve enrolled in the therapy programs with the guaranteed results.
In the educational perspectives, a music therapist is required to be fully trained in the playing of piano, violin and guitar and must showcase his good understanding of the music theory. The knowledge of the music is an important aspect of the music education because being music therapist he has to improvise and provide changes into the music in accordance with the requirements. It has been stated earlier that there seems to be no hard and fast rule for the devising of a treatment plan but a music therapist must learn with experience. There are currently many experienced music therapist in United States which can improvise accordingly with the state of patient’s mind and this is where they stand out (Whipple, 91).
On a broader perspective any individual can be benefited from music therapy on its own. Various guidelines have been presented by music therapists for whom who want to wash away stress in their homes. These guidelines provide specific information about which music to be listened according to the conditioning of the attitudes require. For example if someone needs stimulation in the workplace he should listen to fast beat music. Familiar songs which had been listened during the childhood can also allow integration of peace and calmness. Listening music on the run can be very effective as well. These all guidelines are for every one of those who require some improvement in their life or at any of its aspects. Music therapy for now is becoming an integral mode of relaxation. As new research is being carried out, the researchers are trying to determine some special upbeats that could be used universally. This means that if someone requires soothing he would just pick up the right CD and play it to have an extremely evident and quick impact on mind and body. Various interventions such as using of this therapy with conventional therapy can be even more fruitful for most of the people of America specially who are always looking for methods that could harness their mind and soul and this can be a much better alternative to the sleeping pills and the drugs that constantly being taken by people to remove stress. The ultimate reactions of these drugs can get severe as the person becomes more and more addicted. So for a better change music therapy should be employed on priority basis for those who need some new fresh air into their lives.