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Music is an art form whose medium is sound and silence. Music is defined as vocal or instrumental sounds (or both) combined in such a way as to produce beauty of form, harmony, and expression of emotion.

Everyone has different tastes in music. For some, there's nothing more soothing than a classical piano solo, for others, the thrashing guitars of heavy metal are what increase their energy and their concentration. Music allows us to focus our attention not only on the rhythm and the notes being played, but also on the lyrics and the emotion with which the song is played. In doing so, we can work out way through troubles or simply push our minds out of a low mood. The beauty of music has the power to heal mind, body and soul. Music is often considered the medicine of the mind. This universal language of the mankind not only bridges borders made by human beings, but also has a profound effect on human psyche and body. Study of music is called ETHNOMUSICOLOGY.

Music is the Key to Creativity

Music fuels the mind and thus fuels our creativity. A Creative mind has the ability to make discoveries and create innovations. The greatest minds and thinkers like Albert Einstein, Mozart, and Frank Lloyd Wright all had something in common in that they were constantly exploring their imagination and creativity.

Listening to instrumental music challenges one to listen and tell a story about what one hears. In the same sense, playing a musical instrument gives you the ability to tell the story without words. Both require maximum right brain usage which not only exercises ones creativity but also ones intellect.

Music makes Education more enjoyable

Music can be very engaging in the classroom and is a great tool for memorization. Im sure if more teachers used song to teach the multiplication tables, kids would retain that information much quicker.

Besides the obvious, Music teaches us self-discipline and time management skills that you cannot get anywhere else. When you study an instrument on a regular basis you work on concrete ideas and take small steps to achieve larger goals. This way of thinking organizes the wiring in your brain to start looking at Learning in a new light. In raising children, Music education can be used to keep kids focused and keep them off the streets. Instead of running around and causing mischief, your child may be practicing piano or rehearsing music with friends.

Music is the Language of the Universe

Youve heard this time and time again, but what does it mean exactly? Music is universal in that there are no boundaries to understanding music. Even animals like Birds, Dogs, and Whales can understand music to a certain degree.

It transcends all boundaries of communication because you can speak and tell stories to someone on the other side of the planet, even though you both dont speak the same

language. But I believe its important for one to have an open mind in order to be in touch with that sense of understanding.

Many people immediately push away certain styles of music without having explored what it has to offer. Not all styles will appeal or resonate with a person, but one may discover a new part of ones self when you are open to all the possibilities.

Music has Spiritual Powers

No one really knows where Music came from but there are many theories that suggest music predates the existence of Mankind. One of the most commonly known uses for music was religious and sacred tribal events. In Mayan civilization music was used in celebration of a victory at war and even at the burial of influential figures.

Some of the earliest recorded moments in Music took place in the Medieval times with choral pieces for church prayers. Much emphasis was placed in the organization and use of specific harmonies to create moods that would illicit a spiritual experience. Even today, many people claim that music is the key to God and to a holy, more fulfilling life through the Church.

Music can create a Mood and make you feel Emotion

Music can whisk you away on an extended journey. Music can make time feel frozen. Music also has the power to suggest movement. All these things deal with the human senses. Read this amazing Wiki on Music and Emotion. Part of what inspired me to play piano when I was in college was that I became obsessed with how certain Jazz musicians were able to convey sadness and a state of melancholy through this one piece: Blue in Green. Think about what would driving be like without music or entering into a fancy restaurant?

Music Can Connect People

What is amazing about music is that it is imbedded within all of us. Everyone can understand it and feel something if they open themselves up. Playing music with other musicians is an incredible feeling. Some people describe it as rowing down a river together.

There is a certain type of connection that comes when you make music in a group. The same is true for those who are listening to music in a group and interacting with music through Dance. This type of behaviour is rooted in our history and our discoveries as human beings.


Can music be therapy? So often you hear that music is used to encourage shopping or to soothe anxiety, but can music be used in a more clinical and controlled setting?

In the field of alternative medicine, all types of therapies are being discovered and used. The power of music that can cure the heart and mind is now being used in certain healing therapies as well. This had led to the birth of the term Music Therapy. The interpersonal process in which music and all its facets are used by the therapists, to help their patients in improving or maintaining their health, is termed Music Therapy. Music therapy is just one of a number of expressive therapies that are used to help guide a client from pain and suffering to happiness. In utilizing this everyday part of our lives, we can begin to change the way our brains think and thus the way our brains affect and control the rest of our bodies. This can have positive effects on our physical health and any issues we may be facing right now.

Defining music therapy is a little trickier than it might seem. While the obvious tool of the practice is music, there are a number of ways that music can be used to help a particular client.

According to the American Music Therapy Association, music therapy is a therapy in which goals are set for the client and music is used to achieve these goals. The actual process for the therapy can vary from client to client, depending on their needs and the severity of their problems. The therapy needs to be administered by a licensed and trained professional in a clinical setting, but can also be used outside of the office with the guidance of the therapist. There are a number of areas that music therapy can help to develop: Self-awareness Cognitive development Social skills Motor skills Physical rehabilitation Spiritual awareness

Music therapy works along with traditional therapies as well to increase the ability of the patient to solve their internal and external

struggles. Some more traditional therapists will also employ music therapy techniques when it seems as though the client will respond to this type of communication more favourably than in talk therapy. Music therapy can be the go between in the conversation between a therapist and the client. Instead of placing all of the emphasis on the thoughts of the client, the music can speak for them or it can simply allow them to feel more at ease with talking about their feelings with their therapist. Music therapy is appropriate for all ages, making it an ideal therapy for nursing homes, rehabilitation centers and day care centers and rehabilitative facilities.


The origin of music itself is unknown, but the use of music in healing ceremonies is an ancient practice. It is believe that among primitive people, illness was viewed as originating from magico-religious forces, or form the breaking of taboos. Thus, music in combination with dances or words, along with songs, and the music producing instruments were considered to be efficacious in exorcising disease or healing wounds. In fact, the oldest known documentation of medical practices, the Kahun papyrus, refers to the use of incantations for healing the sick. In classical antiquity, disease was viewed as an imbalance in harmony between a persons physical and psychical nature. Music, in this case, was believed to have divine significance, and thus, extremely important for restoring harmony and heath.

In the middle Ages, disease was still seen as a punishment and a result of sinful doing. Hence, the mentally ill were considered to be possessed by evil spirits; leading to cruel torment and exorcised, and murder of thousands of men and women. For instance, in Europe, thousands of mentally ill men and women were killed because their hallucinations or delusions were interpreted as a "possession by the devil".

By the end of the 18th century, scientists began to investigate the effects of music on the human body. It was during this time that the effect of music on function such as cardiac output, respiratory rate, pulse rate, circulation, blood pressure, on electrical conduction of tissues, on fatigue-ness, and on general vibratory effects on the body was initiated.

By the end of the 19th century, a growing number of researchers started to study the effect of music systematically. Researchers also began looking for relationships between music and physiological or psychological responses. The relationship between music and emotion became a hot topic for lab researches. Hence, music became the emotional reflection of the composer. The utilization of dissonance and rhythmic irregularity of music accelerated into the 20th century.

The development of music therapy as a profession is believed to be a hospital-developed practice that originated in psychiatric hospitals. Much of the contribution to its popularity and establishment originated from wars. Wars are considered to have had a big influence to both bringing in mental illness to the fore, and in establishing strategies for treating the problem. For instances, the civil war help create the field of neurology, which advanced our understanding of brain diseases; World War I, led to the acceptance of psychiatry as an integral part of medical treatment; World War II lead to the development of large-scale screening techniques, group therapy, and increase use of music in hospitals.

In sum, the application of music therapy was believed to have gradually evolved along the following four main lines:

In Functional Occupational Therapy (FOT)

During World War I, it was observed that military patients recovered from wounded limbs more quickly as a result of physical therapy. The goal of FOT was to increase the functions of muscle strength, joint mobility, and coordination of movements. Physical and coordination rehabilitation via specialized exercises was also applicable to cases of severe burns, and of nerve destruction and diseases. Music was prescribed as exercise for re-strengthen and retraining most of the joints and muscles of the body (through playing the instruments), and singing and blowing provided the means to exercise the lungs and the larynx. These methods of treatments are still used today.

As an adjunct to psychiatric treatment

Music was reported by Gilman and Paperte in 1952, as having the following attributes in the treatment of mental illnesses: Ability to command attention and increase its span; Power of diversion and substitution; Capacity to modify the mood; Capacity to stimulate pictorially and intellectually; Capacity to relieve internal tensions; Capacity to facilitate self-expression; Capacity to stimulate re-socialization.

Furthermore, there are three empirically derived assumptions that have been used primarily in neuropsychiatric hospitals: That rhythmic stimuli set up muscular tensions which seek immediate release through physical activity and which help, therefore, to pull the patient out of his morbid preoccupations and direct his attention toward things and events around him; That the moods created by different types of music stimulate emotional responsivity; That music awakens real or fantasized associations and memories, thus facilities the expression of repressed, unconscious material.

As a direct anaesthesia

It was observed that when phonographs were introduced into veterans hospitals during World War I, the music not only entertained but also relaxes the patients. Phonographs were first introduced into the operating room by doctors as a psychological aid. It was soon realize that patients could be anesthetized more easily and did not require as high a dose of medication after the operation. Similar results were also observed in dentistry.

As a psychological stimulus in the total hospital environment

Music was observed to be an effective accompaniment to meals, calisthenics and remedial exercises. It is also shown to increase the endurance and efficiency of work projects in the Occupational Therapy shop, which is to reduce anxiety and relax patients in the administering of certain shock therapies (when used in conjunction with hydro-therapy and electroshock therapy it has been shown to have a synergistic effect); and to divert patients during timeconsuming physical therapy and deep x-ray therapy treatment. By the 1930s, music therapy has taken a new aim; to modify moods, as well as destructive or immoderate physical activity on the open ward. When the development of tranquilizer became available in the 1950s, it became possible to utilize therapeutic strategies to meet the psychological needs of patients. Furthermore, it was report by Gaston in 1968, that the most commonly shared goals reported by music therapists were The establishment or re-establishment of interpersonal relationships The bringing about of self-esteem through self-actualization


Music can be characterized by how it heals. The way music fires the neurons in the brain to the tempo it is played, helps bring into play the characteristics that bring the biggest healing benefits to an individual. Although the power, range and effectiveness of music as a healing tool has many variables, there are certain traits that are Universal.

Music captivates and maintains attention, stimulating and utilizing many parts of the brain. Music is adapted to, and can be reflective of, a person's ability. Music structures time in a way that we can understand. Music provides a meaningful, enjoyable context for repetition. Music sets up a social context by setting up a safe, structured setting for verbal and nonverbal communication. Music is an effective memory aid. Music supports and encourages movement. Music taps into memories and emotions. Music and its related silence, provide nonverbal, immediate feedback. Music is success oriented. People of all ability levels can participate.



In this fast paced and rapidly changing world, the importance of music therapy is also on the increase. Public awareness about this therapy is necessary on a much wider scale, so that people enjoy increased access to quality music therapy services. Music therapy is the only way which: Enhances concentration Helps in physical rehabilitation Can increase social skills and interaction Helps to alleviate pain Allows the client the chance to share their feelings Reduces stress and anxiety Can lessen hyperactivity Does not have any adverse side effects Does not interact with other treatments Can be used in conjunction with other treatments and therapies



There are certain advantages of music therapy, which mainly are

Developing through musical (non-verbal) and verbal interaction with others an enhanced awareness of self and others Offering opportunities for individuals to share their feelings and to experience a sense of universality Encouraging children and adults to have a self-belief in their own musicality Development in physical, sensory and cognitive skills Positive changes in mood and emotional states Improved concentration and attention span Increases in self-confidence, self-esteem, personal insight and motivation Development of independence and decision-making skills Enjoyment and improvement in quality of life Providing a relaxed environment can enable better social interactions with others Decreases in tension, anxiety and stress Sequential memory and recall of information Self-management of behaviour



Simply put, we use music to make your life better. Whether you need help socially, cognitively, physically, emotionally, or developmentally, music can help you get betterand music therapists are well-trained on how to do that. Whats more interesting, though, is why it works. When used properly, music can be an incredibly powerful treatment tool and not just because its fun, relaxing, and motivating, but because music has a profound impact on our brains and our bodies. So here are my top 12 brain-based reasons why music works in therapy:

Music is a core function in our brain.

Our brain is primed early on to respond to and process music. Research has shown that dayold infants are able to detect differences in rhythmic patterns. Mothers across cultures and throughout time have used lullabies and rhythmic rocking to calm crying babies. From an evolutionary standpoint, music precedes language. We dont yet know why, but our brains are wired to respond to music, even though its not essential for our survival.

Our bodies entrain to rhythm.

Have you ever walked down the street, humming a song in your head, and noticed that your walking to the beat? Thats called entrainment. Our motor systems naturally entrain, or match, to a rhythmic beat. When a musical input enters our central nervous system via the auditory nerve, most of the input goes to the brain for processing. But some of it heads straight to motor nerves in our spinal cord. This allows our muscles to move to the rhythm without our having to think about it or try. Its how we dance to music, tap our foot to a rhythm, and walk in time to a beat. This is also why music therapists can help a person whos had a stroke re-learning how to walk and develop strength and endurance in their upper bodies.

We have physiologic responses to music.

Every time your breathing quickens, your heart-rate increases, or you feel a shiver down your spine, thats your body responding physiologically to music. Qualified music therapists


can use this to help stimulate a person in a coma or use music to effectively help someone relax.

Children (even infants) respond readily to music.

Any parent knows that its natural for a child to begin dancing and singing at an early age. And have you seen the YouTube video of the baby dancing to Beyonce? Children learn through music, art, and play, so its important (even necessary) to use those mediums when working with children in therapy.

Music taps into our emotions.

Have you ever listened to a piece of music and smiled? Or felt sad? Whether from the music itself, or from our associations with the music, music taps into our emotional systems. Many people use this in a therapeutic way, listening to certain music that makes them feel a certain way. The ability for music to easily access our emotions is very beneficial for music therapists.

Music helps improve our attention skills.

Here is a small story of a doctor- I was once working with a 4-year-old in the hospital. Her 10-month-old twin sisters were visiting, playing with Grandma on the bed. As soon as I started singing to the older sister, the twins stopped playing and stared at me, for a full 3 minutes. Even from an early age, music can grab and hold our attention. This allows music therapists to target attention and impulse control goals, both basic skills we need to function and succeed.

Music uses shared neural circuits as speech.

This is almost a no-brainer (no pun intended), but listening to or singing music with lyrics uses shared neural circuits as listening to and expressing speech. Music therapists can use this ability to help a child learn to communicate or help someone whos had a stroke re-learn how to talk again.

Music enhances learning.

Do you remember how you learned your ABCs? Through a song! The inherent structure and emotional pull of music makes it an easy tool for teaching concepts, ideas, and information.

Music is an effective mnemonic device and can tag information, not only making it easy to learn, but also easy to later recall.

Music taps into our memories.

Have you ever been driving, heard a song on the radio, then immediately been taken to a certain place, a specific time in your life, or a particular person? Music is second only to smell for its ability to stimulate our memory in a very powerful way. Music therapists who work with older adults with dementia have countless stories of how music stimulates their clients to reminisce about their life.

Music is a social experience.

Our ancestors bonded and passed on their stories and knowledge through song, stories, and dance. Even today, many of our music experiences are shared with a group, whether playing in band or an elementary music class, listening to jazz at a restaurant, or singing in church choir. Music makes it easy for music therapists to structure and facilitate a group process. Music is predictable, structured, and organizedand our brain likes it!

Music often has a predictable steady beat, organized phrases, and a structured form. If you think of most country/folk/pop/rock songs you know, theyre often organized with a versechorus structure. Theyre organized in a way that we like and enjoy listening to over and over again. Even sound waves that make up a single tone or an entire chord are organized in mathematical ratiosand our brains really like this predictability and structure.

Music is non-invasive, safe and motivating.

We cant forget that most people really enjoy music. This is not the most important reason why music works in therapy, but its the icing on the cake.



If people hope to benefit from music therapy there are a number of things worth considering:

In order to get the most from this type of therapy it is best to stick to a credentialed professional who has gone through an approved program. It is not necessary for people to have any type of musical ability in order to benefit from this treatment. They may not even like music very much to begin with. Music therapy can be of benefit to people of all ages. It is possible for the individual to create their own playlist of therapeutic music by adding those tracks that they found soothing. This may be less beneficial than a proper assessment by a music therapist, but it certainly can be helpful.

There is no right music for relaxation. Some people will feel relaxed while listening to classical music but for other people it could be punk rock. It is a good idea to keep a journal in order to record how different types of music impact mood and feelings of relaxation. This way the individual will discover the music that works best for them.

If people are having difficulties concentrating they may wish to try music with a fast beat to see if this helps. Music can be a wonderful tool to help people exercise. These tracks can motivate and encourage the individual to pick up the tempo of their activity. Meditation music can help the individual experience meditative states. It is not a good idea to use music long-term for meditation because it becomes too much as a crutch and can prevent the individual from advancing along this path.

Simple drumming is a relatively easy thing for people to learn. This type of music creativity can be good for escaping pain and emotional turmoil. Learning to play a musical instrument can be a great choice for people in recovery. As well as this being entertaining it will also be a great stress buster.



Music therapists may work with individuals who have behavioural-emotional disorders. To meet the needs of this population, music therapists have taken current psychological theories and used them as a basis for different types of music therapy. Different models include behavioural therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy, and psychodynamic therapy. One therapy model based on neuroscience, called "neurological music therapy" (NMT), is "based on a neuroscience model of music perception and production, and the influence of music on functional changes in non-musical brain and behaviour functions." In other words, NMT studies how the brain is without music, how the brain is with music, measures the differences, and uses these differences to cause changes in the brain through music that will eventually affect the client non-musically. As one researcher, Dr. Thaut, said: "The brain that engages in music is changed by engaging in music." NMT trains motor responses (i.e. tapping foot or fingers, head movement, etc.) to better help clients develop motor skills that help "entrain the timing of muscle activation patterns".

Music therapy for children

Two common approaches are used when conducting music therapy with children: either as a one-on-one session or in a group setting. When a therapist meets with a child for the first time, customarily the therapist and child develop goals to be met during the duration of their sessions. Music therapy can help children with communication, attention, motivation, and behavioural problems. Therapy rooms should have a wide range of different instruments from different places. They should also be colourful, and have different textures. The therapist should either play a piano or guitar to keep everything grounded and in rhythm. The most important thing, though, is to have high quality and well-maintained instruments. As some children will be able to handle an instrument while others cannot, the child should be given an instrument adapted to them. All these elements help the experience and outcome of the music therapy go better and have more successes for the child.


In fact according to Daniel Levitin, it started inside the womb, surrounded by amniotic fluid, the foetus hears sounds. It hears the mothers heartbeat, at times speed up, at other times slow down, not only that but other music, conversations, and environmental noises. Alexandra Lamont of Keele University in the UK discovered the foetus hears music. She found that, a year after they are born, children recognize and prefer music they were exposed to in the womb. The auditory system of the foetus is fully functional about twenty weeks after conception.

Adolescents with mood disorders Music and mood disorders

According to the Mayo Health CliniC, out of every 100,000 adolescents, two to three thousand will have mood disorders, out of which 8-10 will commit suicide. Two prevalent mood disorders in the adolescent population are clinical depression and bipolar disorder.

On average adolescents listens to approximately 4.5 hours of music per day and are responsible for 70% of pop music sales. Now with the invention of new technologies, such as the iPod and digital downloads, access to music has become easier than ever. As children make the transition into adolescence they become less likely to sit and watch TV, an activity associated with family, and spend more of their leisure time listening to music, an activity associated with friends.

Adolescents have identified many benefits of listening to music, including emotional, social, and daily life benefits, along with the formation of ones own identity. Music can provide a sense of independence and individuality, which in turn contributes to ones own selfdiscovery and sense of identity. Music also offers adolescents with relatable messages that allow him/her to take comfort in knowing that others feel the same way they do. It can also serve as a creative outlet to release or control emotions and find ways of coping with difficult situations. Music can improve one's mood by reducing stress and lowering anxiety levels, which can help counteract or prevent depression. Music education programs provide

adolescents with a safe place to express themselves and learn life skills such as selfdiscipline, diligence, and patience. These school programs also promote confidence and selfesteem. Ethnomusicologist Alan Merriam (1964) once stated that music is a universal behaviour; it is something that everyone can identify with. Among adolescents, music is a unifying force, bringing people of different backgrounds, age groups, and social groups together. Referrals and assessments Adolescents may listen to music for its therapeutic qualities, but that does not mean every adolescent needs music therapy. Many adolescents may go through a period of teenage angst, characterized by intense feelings of strife, caused by the development of their brains and bodies. Some adolescents can also develop more serious mood disorders such as major clinical depression and bipolar disorder. Adolescents diagnosed with a mood disorder may be referred to a music therapist based on observations by the diagnosing physician, therapist, or school counsellor/teacher. When a music therapist gets a referral it is important to first assess the patient and create goals and objectives for him/her before beginning the actual music therapy. According to the American Music Therapy Association Standards of Clinical Practice assessments should include the general categories of psychological, cognitive, communicative, social, and physiological functioning focusing on the clients needs and strengthsand will also determine the clients response to music, music skills, and musical preferences The result of the assessment is used to create an individualized music therapy intervention plan. Treatment techniques There are many different music therapy techniques used with adolescents. The music therapy model is based on various theoretical backgrounds such as psychodynamic, behavioural, and humanistic approaches. Techniques can be classified as active vs. receptive and improvisational vs. structured. The most common techniques in use with adolescents are musical improvisation, the use of pre-composed songs or music, receptive listening to music, verbal discussion about the music, and the use of creative media outlets incorporated into the music therapy. Research also showed that improvisation and the use of other media were the two techniques most often used by the music therapists. The overall research showed that adolescents in music therapy change more when discipline-specific music therapy techniques, such as improvisation and verbal reflection of the music, are used. The results of

this study showed that music therapists should put careful thought and deliberation into their choice of technique with each individual client. In the end, those choices can affect the positive or negative outcomes of music therapy treatment.

To those unfamiliar with music therapy the idea may seem a little strange, but music therapy has been found to be as effective as traditional forms of therapy. In a meta-analysis of the effects of music therapy for children and adolescents with psychopathology, Gold, Voracek, and Wigram (2004) looked at 10 previous studies conducted between 1970 and 1998 to examine the overall efficacy of music therapy on children and adolescents with psychopathology, which can be broken down into three distinct categories: behavioural disorders, emotional disorders, and developmental disorders. The results of the meta-analysis found that music therapy with these clients has a highly significant, medium to large effect on clinically relevant outcomes. More specifically, music therapy was most effective on subjects with mixed diagnoses. Another important result was that the effects of music therapy are more enduring when more sessions are provided.

One example of clinical work is that of music therapists who work with adolescents on increasing emotional and cognitive stability, identifying contributing factors of current distress, and initiating changes to alleviate that distress. Music therapy may also focus on improving quality of life and building self-esteem, a sense self-worth, and confidence. Improvements in these areas can be measured by a number of tests, including qualitative questionnaires like Becks Depression Inventory, State and Trait Anxiety Inventory, and Relationship Change Scale. Effects of music therapy can also be observed in the patients demeanour, body language, and changes in awareness of mood.

Group meetings and one-one sessions are two main methods for music therapy. Group music therapy can include group discussions concerning moods and emotions in/to music, song writing, and musical improvisation. Groups emphasizing mood recognition and awareness, group cohesion, and improvement in self-esteem can be effective in working with adolescents. Group therapy, however, is not always the best choice for the client. On going one-on-one music therapy has also been shown to be effective. One-on-one music therapy provides a non-invasive, non-judgmental environment, encouraging clients to show capacities that may be hidden in group situations.


Though more research needs to be done of the effect of music therapy on adolescents with mood disorders, most research has been finding positive effects.

As stroke therapy

Music has been shown to affect portions of the brain. Part of this therapy is the ability of music to affect emotions and social interactions. Music has been shown to affect portions of the brain. Part of this therapy is the ability of music to affect emotions and social interactions. Research by Nayak et al. showed that music therapy is associated with a decrease in depression, improved mood, and a reduction in state anxiety. Both descriptive and experimental studies have documented effects of music on quality of life, involvement with the environment, expression of feelings, awareness and responsiveness, positive associations, and socialization.

Additionally, Nayak et al. found that music therapy had a positive effect on social and behavioural outcomes and showed some encouraging trends with respect to mood. Current research also suggests that when music therapy is used in conjunction with traditional therapy it improves success rates significantly.

Therefore, it is hypothesized that music therapy helps stroke victims recover faster and with more success by increasing the patient's positive emotions and motivation, allowing them to be more successful and driven to participate in traditional therapies. Research has shown the ability of music therapy to increase positive social interactions, positive emotions, and motivation in stroke patients.

Wheeler et al. found that group music therapy sessions increased the ease at which stroke patients responded to social interaction and increased positive attitude reports from patient families, while individual sessions helped to motivate patients for treatment. Additionally, there may be mediating factors which affect the success of music therapy. For


example, Nayak et al. found the more impaired an individual's social behaviour was at the outset of treatment, the more likely he or she was to benefit from music therapy. A study by Jeong & Kim examined the impact of music therapy when combined with traditional stroke therapy in a community-based rehabilitation program.

Benefits included a decrease in blood pressure, heart rate, and levels of anxiety in heart patients. However, the effect was not consistent across studies, according to Joke Bradt, PhD, and Cheryl Dileo, PhD, both of Temple University in Philadelphia.

Music did not appear to have much effect on patients' psychological distress. "The quality of the evidence is not strong and the clinical significance unclear", the reviewers cautioned. In 11 studies patients were having cardiac surgery and procedures, in nine they were MI patients, and in three cardiac rehabilitation patients. The 1,461 participants were largely white (average 85%) and male (67%).

In most studies, patients listened to one 30-minute music session. Only two used a trained music therapist instead of pre-recorded music

In heart disease

According to a 2009 Cochrane review of 23 clinical trials, it was found that some music may reduce heart rate, respiratory rate, and blood pressure in patients with coronary heart disease. Benefits included a decrease in blood pressure, heart rate, and levels of anxiety in heart patients. However, the effect was not consistent across studies, according to Joke Bradt, PhD, and Cheryl Dileo, PhD, both of Temple University in Philadelphia. Music did not appear to have much effect on patients' psychological distress. "The quality of the evidence is not strong and the clinical significance unclear", the reviewers cautioned. In 11 studies patients were having cardiac surgery and procedures, in nine they were MI patients, and in three cardiac rehabilitation patients. The 1,461 participants were largely white


(average 85%) and male (67%). In most studies, patients listened to one 30-minute music session. Only two used a trained music therapist instead of pre-recorded music.

Treatment of neurological disorders

The use of music therapy (MT) in treating mental and neurological disorders is on the rise. MT has showed effectiveness in treating symptoms of many disorders, including schizophrenia, amnesia, dementia and Alzheimers, Parkinson's disease, mood disorders such as depression, aphasia and similar speech disorders, and Tourettes syndrome, among others. While MT has been used for many years, up until the mid-1980s little empirical research had been done to support the efficacy of the treatment. Since then, more research has focused on determining both the effectiveness and the underlying physiological mechanisms leading to symptom improvement. For example, one meta-study covering 177 patients (over 9 studies) showed a significant effect on many negative symptoms of psychopathologies, particularly in developmental and behavioural disorders. MT was especially effective in improving focus and attention, and in decreasing negative symptoms like anxiety and isolation. The following sections will discuss the uses and effectiveness of MT in the treatment of specific pathologies. Schizophrenia Music Therapy is used with schizophrenic patients to ameliorate many of the symptoms of the disorder. Individual studies of patients undergoing Music Therapy showed diminished negative symptomssuch as flattened affect, speech issues, and anhedonia and improved social symptoms, such as increased conversation ability, reduced social isolation, and increased interest in external events.

Meta-studies have confirmed many of these results, showing that Music Therapy in addition to standard care to be superior to standard care alone. Improvements were seen in negative symptoms, general mental state, depression, anxiety, and even cognitive functioning. These


meta-studies have also shown, however, that these results can be inconsistent and depend heavily on both the quality and number of therapy sessions. Alzheimers and dementia Alzheimers and dementia are two of the diseases most commonly treated with MT. Like many of the other disorders mentioned, some of the most common significant effects are seen in social behaviours, leading to improvements in interaction, conversation, and other such skills. A meta-study of over 330 subjects showed music therapy produces highly significant improvements to social behaviours, overt behaviours like wandering and restlessness, reductions in agitated behaviours, and improvements to cognitive defects, measured with reality orientation and face recognition tests. As with many studies of MTs effectiveness, these positive effects on Alzheimers and dementia are not homogeneous among all studies. The effectiveness of the treatment seems to be strongly dependent on the patient, the quality and length of treatment, and other similar factors. Another meta-study examined the proposed neurological mechanisms behind MTs effects on these patients. Many authors suspected that music has a soothing effect on the patient by affecting how noise is perceived: music renders noise familiar, or buffers the patient from overwhelming or extraneous noise in their environment. Others suggest that music serves as a sort of mediator for social interactions, providing a vessel through which to interact with others without requiring much cognitive load. Amnesia Some symptoms of amnesia have been shown to be alleviated through various interactions with music, including playing and listening. One such case is that of Clive Wearing, whose severe retrograde and anterograde amnesia have been detailed in the documentaries Prisoner of Consciousness and The Man with the 7 Second Memory. Though unable to recall past memories or form new ones, Wearing is still able to play, conduct, and sing along with music learned prior to the onset of his amnesia, and even add improvisations and flourishes. Wearings case reinforces the theory that episodic memory fundamentally differs from procedural or semantic memory. Sacks suggests that while Wearing is completely unable to recall events or episodes, musical performance (and the muscle memory involved) are a form of procedural memory that is not typically hindered in amnesia cases [Sacks]. Indeed, there is evidence that while episodic memory is reliant on the hippocampal formation, amnesiacs

with damage to this area can show a loss of episodic memory accompanied by (partially) intact semantic memory. Depression Music therapy has been found to have numerous significant outcomes for patients with major depressive disorder. One study found that listening to soft, sedative music for only 30 minutes a day for two weeks led to significantly improved global depressive scores, and improved scores on individual depressive sub-scales. Like many of the other studies mentioned, the effects were seen to be cumulative over the time period studied that is, longer treatment led to increased improvement. Another study showed that MDD patients were able to better express their emotional states while listening to sad music than while listening to no music or happy, angry, or scary music. The authors found that this therapy helped patients to overcome verbal barriers in expressing emotion, which can assist therapists in successfully guiding treatment.

Other studies have provided insight into the physiological interactions between MT and depression. Music has been showed to significantly decrease the levels of the stress hormone cortisol, leading to improved affect, mood, and cognitive functioning. A study also found that music led to a shift in frontal lobe activity (as measured by EEG) in depressed adolescents. Music was shown to shift activity from the right frontal lobe to the left, a phenomenon associated with positive affect and mood. Aphasia Melodic intonation therapy (MIT) is a commonly used method of treating aphasias, particularly those involving speech deficits (as opposed to reading or writing). MIT is a multi-stage treatment that involves committing words and speech rhythm to memory by incorporating them into song. The musical and rhythmic aspects are then separated from the speech and phased out, until the patient can speak normally. This method has slight variations between adult patients and child patients, but both follow the same basic structure. While MIT is a commonly used therapy, research supporting its effectiveness is relatively lacking. Some recent research suggests that the therapys efficacy may stem more from the rhythmic components of the treatment rather than the melodic aspects.


In epilepsy Research suggests that listening to Mozart's piano sonata K448 can reduce the number of seizures in people with epilepsy. This has been called the "Mozart effect." However, in recent times, the validity of the "Mozart Effect" and the studies upon which the theory is based have been questioned, due to reasons such as the limitations in the original study and the failure to replicate the effects of Mozart's music in subsequent studies.

Apart from the above forms, in simple terms who is music therapy for? Music therapists work with children and adults of all ages and with different types of difficulties:

Learning Disability

1.5 million People live with a learning disability. People with a learning disability find it harder than others to learn, understand and communicate. Learning disabilities can also create frustration, anxiety, unhappiness and behavioural difficulties, particularly as children grow up and into adults. There are many syndromes that cause learning disabilities, such as Downs, Rett, and Fragile X. In this group in particular we work with both children and adults. Every course of music therapy is different, and there are no set results. However some of the ways that people with learning disabilities have been found to benefit from music include: Language development: o sharing and answering of musical phrases gives experience of conversation o stimulating concentration and listening abilities o exploring and imitating sounds o learning words and developing an understanding of their meaning (rhythm and melody can be used to accentuate key words) Play skills (essential for developmental progress):

o facilitating the connection between holding and using an object (e.g. a beater) o developing the imagination by bringing stories alive (e.g. nursery rhymes) o encourages initiative and spontaneity Physical development: o rhythm of music can help stimulate movement o developing motor skills and the co-ordination of muscle patterns needed for walking etc. Relationships: o improving social skills such as turn-taking o reducing isolation by creating a normalised social context o enabling shared experience Emotional development: o allows exploration and expression of feelings o develops confidence and self-esteem through sense of achievement o releases frustration from a previous lack of verbal communication Early Intervention: o enhancing development in young children displaying signs of developmental delay (who may or may not have a learning disability) o supporting families experiencing isolation, stress, frustration Growing up: o offering a creative emotional outlet to address difficult feelings o supporting young adults making transition from school to day care services o increasing confidence and sense of achievement, making use of skills and abilities o developing autonomy

Music Therapy and Mental Health

Mental health clients may have unmet needs in many areas that music therapy can uniquely address. The emotional, expressive nature of music can serve as a bridge to self-awareness, insight, and identification of feelings. Music stimulates association, affect, and imagery in

ways that analytical, verbal processes cannot. Group music experiences can create bonding and a sense of community among clients. Music, through its structure and order, can serve as a grounding experience for those who are agitated, manic, or psychotic. Individuals who are not able to participate in groups can benefit from individual sessions through this non-verbal modality.

Recent literature supports the use of music therapy in the treatment of those with mental disorders. Many psychiatric facilities throughout Canada have a strong music therapy presence. In one psychiatric facility alone in British Columbia there are several music therapists on staff serving psychiatric patients, with countless other facilities in North America utilizing the expertise of music therapists.

Music therapy can offer a valuable supplement or alternative to traditional psychotherapies for clients who suffer from: schizophrenia affective disorders personality disorders anxiety disorders organic brain syndrome substance abuse eating disorders psychiatric disorders of childhood other mental illnesses

Different therapeutic approaches are available depending on the needs of the client and the training and background of the music therapist. Music therapy, because of its flexibility and adaptability, can be used in a variety of different treatment formats, adjusting to meet the needs of a vast variety of individual functioning abilities while at the same time complementing the goals and philosophies of other psychiatric treatment modalities.

With the severely psychotic patient, for example, music therapy can reach in to make contact; it can support the person to focus and be successful in simple, structured activities such as instrument playing or group singing. It can also support the development of social skills and the expression of feelings, while relieving anxiety and stimulating ordered thinking

and physical activity. For higher functioning clients, music therapy can work deeply to bring unconscious material to awareness. Music therapy can also be useful in the treatment of anxiety, depression, and mood disorders, and symptoms such as impaired thought processing. Engagement in successful musical experiences can improve self-esteem and promote feelings of health and well-being.

Clinical and experimental research in the literature has demonstrated the efficacy of music to promote relaxation, communication, creative self-expression, psychophysical activation, insight, and emotional processing. Music has also historically been connected with spirituality and therefore can be an avenue for exploring the client's own spirituality, which may lead to enhanced coping skills, hope, and many other benefits. Supportive music therapy activities can include (but are not limited to): musical role-playing song writing singing visualization meditation music improvisation lyric analysis and discussion creative expression instrument playing

Music therapy is a highly flexible art form which assists in the treatment of clients with mental illnesses. The flexible and supportive nature of music therapy allows for a comfortable, non-threatening, and creative environment for the individual mental health client.

Harp Therapy in Prison

Correctional institutions often do not allow inmates to adequately process emotional material. Live therapeutic harp music is a safe way for inmates to express and process deep emotions. It is not necessary to have a musical background to benefit from harp therapy. Music is a way of building connections between different races, cultures, and socioeconomic groups, when language may be a barrier.


The therapeutic harp practitioner acknowledges whatever emotion, or physical pain the client is experiencing at the time. The power of harp therapy lies in finding the resonant tone of the client and playing with respect and compassion to induce deep relaxation, and a spiritual state of wellbeing. It may also help inmates release the emotional pain leading to substance abuse.

When the client is in too much pain, agitation, or stress to effectively participate in a group music therapy session they could benefit from initially spending oneon-one time with a therapeutic harp practitioner. By penetrating areas of pain, harp therapy helps to increase body awareness of other areas of tension in the body. Once the client is aware of the tension and stress in their body they can be taught some simple techniques to relax, and exercises to alleviate the build-up of tension. When they are free from pain, anxiety and tension, they can better benefit from group rehabilitation sessions; and begin to take responsibility for their own life.

Neeraj Kumar, Director General of prisons in Delhi said bongo drums, tabla, guitars, keyboards, and plucking string instruments are provided for use in Tihar jail, India's largest prison, (10,500), because music has the power to heal and bring positive energy to the listener. Music motivates inmates and helps to uplift their spirits. Music therapy relaxes the mind, calms the mood of inmates, alleviates depression and negative thinking. Encouraging music creativity gives people a new purpose in life so they don't need to drift back into drugs. Some inmates formed their own bands.


Amit Saxena, an inmate said, "Music changes our thinking process. It takes away our worries and instils hope in us." Another inmate, Bal Kishan, said the music room is like a fresh breath of life for us.

Therapeutic Harp music is a gentle, powerful way of releasing deep emotions and negative thinking patterns. Surfing Rainbows Workshops complement harp therapy by providing support, helping to in still trust, motivation, and courage, and improve communication. When implemented together during the rehabilitation process it is hoped that the transition into society will be easier and the recidivism rate reduced. Women in prison told me that prison is very stressful and so they really appreciated the calming influence of listening me playing therapeutic harp music.

Music Therapy Soothes Hospice Patients & Families

Hospice patients have a unique need for care. With need for physical, emotion and social support, the caregivers within the hospice setting are often challenged to find ways in which to manage the care of hospice patients while providing support to family and friends who are affected. Affected by a life-limiting illness, hospice patients face many psychological and emotional issues when balance their own mortality with the emotional needs of their family who visit.

In many adult hospice settings the use of music therapy is becoming increasingly more common. As a way in which to soothe the spirits and emotions of not only hospice patients, but also the families of the hospice patients, music therapists are becoming an integral part of the support staff. While not a cure for illness, music therapy does provide some palliative relief of symptoms to the patient who is suffering as well as the family in need. In addition, the use of music therapy is also found to ease the minds and spirits of nurses and other caregivers in the hospice setting.


Music therapy within the hospice setting provides the hospice patient, staff and family members with an approach to care that enables them to decrease anxiety and often reduce effects of pain. In addition, music therapy assists those within the hospice setting in developing coping skills, acquire spiritual support, express emotions, improve relaxation while decreasing agitation, and improve social and communication skills. As a process that is either receptive or expressive, many music therapists find they can tailor the program of music therapy to the unique needs of the hospice patient and their family.

For some hospice patients, however, the use of music within the hospice setting may elicit fear or agitation. As a result, the music therapist will need to determine if the music therapy provided is best provided in a group or individual setting or, possibly, not provided at all. While there are many stages of the death and dying process, the music therapy program will need to evolve as the patient evolves.

If your loved one has been placed into a hospice setting, it is important to find the right palliative care. As part of the palliative care in hospice, you may want to inquire about the availability of music therapy, either receptive or passive, for your loved one. With the right assessment by a music therapist, many hospice patients, and their families, find comfort and security in the relaxing sounds of music and spend time enjoying music therapy together.

Neurologist music therapy

Neurologic Music Therapy (NMT) is a clinical approach based on research in neuroscience of music perception and production. NMT uses various music elements such as rhythm and melody in order to facilitate brain plasticity by activating non-damaged brain areas to recruit neural pathways to support recovery from brain damage. NMT sessions are usually designed to work on functional therapeutic goals addressing physical, cognitive, social and communication skills in order to maximize one's ability to function in everyday life. NMT can be used for a wide variety of individuals including, but

not limited to, people with Parkinsons disease, stroke survivors, Alzheimers disease, autism, brain injury, cerebral palsy, and other neurological disorders.

Human beings are musical by nature. We possess internal time-keepers which operate in a synchronous, consistent manner (heart rate and respiration). Our bodies and brains are wired for music and we react unconsciously to external rhythmic stimuli. Because our entire brains are involved in the processing of music stimuli, music has the potential to integrate neurological activity, thus promoting improved overall functioning. The integration of sensory information can promote better understanding of sensory stimuli, improved ability to store and recall information, and increased cognitive stimulation which can impact all areas of functioning including movement and communication abilities.

Music therapists who are trained in NMT begin treatment with a clinical assessment to in order identify goals which will transfer into everyday life. Then the therapist provides specific exercises to target the goals. For example, if the need is to improve vocal projection, proper timing and force cues are given musically such as a steady beat and dynamic contrast to maximize the use of muscles and motor planning. If the need is to improve a functional movement in everyday life such as typing, finger exercises on the piano may be used with a focus on using music accompaniment to provide cues for timing, range, and accuracy of the movements.

Clients engage in repetitive, structured musical exercises to address physical, communicative or cognitive functioning. It is typical for individuals receiving this form of therapy to be given exercises and practice CDs to take home as benefits increase with more frequent cognitive stimulation.

Music Therapy and Addiction

Music therapy can be of great value to people who are attempting to overcome an addiction. It is unlikely to be enough alone to help an individual recovery from substance abuse, but it can be a useful supplement to other types of addiction treatment. The benefits of music therapy for people recovering from an addiction include:


When people first become sober they are likely to experience a rollercoaster ride of emotions. Creating music may help people purge some of their more destructive emotions. A common reason why people relapse after a period of sobriety is that they feel unable to manage their stress levels. Listening to or creating music can be a wonderful stress booster. Boredom is another relapse trigger for those in early recovery. It is usually easy for people to put on some music and this can relieve their sense of boredom. When people first become sober they can experience a bit of loneliness due to breaking away from their network of drinking or drug using friends. Music is good for helping people feel a bit less alone in the world. Music therapy can be all about enjoyment and do is recovery from an addiction. Meditation can be a highly beneficial tool for people in recovery. Music can be a good introduction into meditating for those who do not yet have the patience for a more formal practice. When people first become sober they can struggle with mental fuzziness. Music may help to improve their concentration levels. If people are dealing with symptoms of depression they may find that listening to music can help with this. Music and Romancing the Drink or Drug

While music can almost certainly help people in recovery there may be some types that those who are newly sober will be best to avoid. If the individual spends a great deal of time listening to those tracks that they associate with drinking or using drugs it could increase the risk of relapse. This is because it will trigger memories of the times when the individual felt that their substance abuse was pleasurable this is referred to as romancing the drink. It is possible to associate fresh memories with old music favourites, but this is probably best left until people are more secure in their sobriety. For the first year or so it may be best to completely avoid any music

associated with substance abuse. There will be plenty of other types of music to explore and enjoy.

Person with Autism

Music Therapy can help people with autism to improve skills in areas such as communication, social skills, sensory issues, behaviour, cognition, perceptual/motor skills, and self-reliance or self-determination. The therapist finds music experiences that strike a chord with a particular person, making personal connections and building trust. People on the autism spectrum are often especially interested in and responsive to music. Because music is motivating and engaging, it may be used as a natural "reinforce" for desired responses. Music therapy can also help those with sensory aversions to certain sounds to cope with sound sensitivities or individual differences in auditory processing.

Q. What Does a Music Therapist Do for People with Autism? After assessing the strengths and needs of each person, music therapists develop a treatment plan with goals and objectives and then provide appropriate treatment. Music therapists work with both individuals and in small groups, using a variety of music and techniques. According to the National Autistic Society, music therapists may rely on spontaneous musical improvisation. The therapist uses percussion or tuned instruments, or her own voice, to respond creatively to the sounds produced by the client, and encourage the client to create his or her own musical language. The aim is to create a context of sound in which the client feels comfortable and confident to express him, to experience a wider range of emotions, and to discover what it is like to be in a two-way communicating relationship.

Use simple songs, pieces or musical styles to suit the mood and clinical and developmental needs of the client at any given moment. In fact, music as therapy need not fall into conventional patterns or even use words; the music therapist can respond to cries, screams


and body movements by the client, all of which have rhythm and pitch and are susceptible to organization in musical terms.

A good music therapist should be able to develop strategies that can be implemented at home or at school.

Music Therapy and Disorders Music Therapy and Psychiatry

Music therapists work with people with mental health disorders including schizophrenia, depression, bipolar disorders, anxiety disorders, obsessive compulsive disorders and posttraumatic stress disorder. Music therapy can provide this population with an alternative means of communication and a chance to express them through improvisation, song writing or lyric analysis. Music Therapy and Social Skills Psychiatric disorders can often impair social interaction and social skills. Music therapy can provide opportunities for safe group and individual musical experiences, address how people interact with their environment and examine how they affect their environment. Music can encourage social interaction among patients. The interaction may take the form of talking about thoughts and feelings, contributing to group experience, cooperating with others or responding to others' needs. Interpersonal interaction can take place through music listening techniques lead by the music therapist. Music Therapy and Emotions Music therapy can provide a safe environment for a client to alleviate their feelings with a person who can "process and reflect the patient's expression in a modified form". Preference and familiar music are important in this area. "If patients are to be reached, the music employed must be that which they understand, at least to some extent". Gfeller (1990) argues that music can "reflect, influence and alter emotional response and therefore is a valuable therapeutic device in music therapy processes including "identification, awareness, reflection or expression of feelings and relevant issues".


Music Therapy and Communication People with mental health difficulties may find communication with others difficult. As music therapy can help social and interpersonal interaction and emotional expression, so to can it help communication difficulties. Sears (1968) reports that clients "may express in music or through musical preferences feelings not otherwise expressible. Music may speak where words fail. Music therapy techniques such as song writing, lyric analysis and improvisation can be used to assist the client in development of their communication skills. Music Therapy and Self-Esteem Low self-esteem can be part of many mental health disorders. Music therapy can act as a psychotherapeutic agent to improve low self-esteem. Improvisation, group singing, movement techniques and dancing can provide a client with sensory and social feedback, successful musical experiences that can promote self-worth and promote body awareness and identity. Music Therapy and Relaxation Anxiety disorders are common and can be helped by relaxation techniques. Studies show that music can be used to effectively reduce anxiety and promote muscle relaxation. Clients "musical preference" is important to consider when using music for relaxation purposes. The idea of stimulating and sedative music increasing and decreasing anxiety respectively does not apply to everyone. Music imagery can be used to help the client reduce tension and focus on positive thoughts and feelings. Imaging should not be used with people who are delusional or have psychotic disorders. Music Therapy and Cognition Music is a time ordered, structured stimulus. People with psychotic disorders may have poor reality orientation whereas people with mood or anxiety disorders may have insight into their disability. Music therapy can provide treatment programs geared towards the client's level of cognition and awareness. Structured reality based music experiences such as writing a song can help reality orientation, divert from neurotic concerns or obsessions and help improve impulsive behaviour control.




One of the many things that set musical affirmations apart is that the music and text represents an integration of words, rhythm, voice and melody. Using this type of affirmations will give you the power to think positively, to remove the barriers to prosperity, minimize stress and create pathways to love and confidence. Today's non-stop, high-stress world means our minds are constantly in the beta (unreceptive) state, where the mind's mental energy fires neurons at random. Musical affirmations will return your mind to the alpha (receptive) state, a state where the neurons fire in harmony. Where the positive message of the affirmations can be absorbed effectively by the conscious and subconscious mind due to the power enhancing effects of a musical accompaniment.

Mind Quieting

A disciplined mind is a free mind. Gain control over your thoughts and you maintain control over your life. Retrain your mind and you regain your freedom. Calming the mind is a behavioural technique used to interrupt, minimize and eliminate "psychological noise". Obsessive, repetitive thoughts, anxiety and fears are all apart of negative, self-destructive patterns that can benefit from the power of music and mind quieting.


Breath is life! Exchange of electrons. Flow of energy. Air is the primary nutrient. Survival without it is measured in minutes. It is so important that you do it without thinking. Your

breathing is the voice of your spirit. Its depth, smoothness, sound, and rate reflect your mood. If you become aware of your breath and breathe the way you do when you are calm you will become calm. Practicing regular, mindful breathing can be calming and energizing. With the addition of music and it's rhythm, the "musical breath" can even help stressrelated health problems ranging from panic attacks to digestive disorders. Fall into the rhythm of the music and breathe. Focus on your breathing and the music.


No one can fully explain the mystery of mantras. Their magical sounds help heal physical imbalances, relax the mind, quiet the emotions, and open the heart. They stimulate, activate, motivate, and rejuvenate. Mantras can help you dance or sleep, laugh or cry, make love or meditate, turn tedious housework or heavy exercise light-hearted fun. They can help you forget someone or find someone. They are designed to remind us that love, laughter, and inner peace are our birth right. They help us go beyond borders, realize our potential, and celebrate the power of love. Mantras offer increased flexibility and strength while they gently expand your consciousness, and help you experience love, compassion, and inner peace.


Chanting begins with an invocation - a prayer, a group OM, or some small line of remembrance that connects everyone to a higher source. To learn chanting has a healthy strengthening effect on the mind; it develops concentration, patience and determination. So, almost any word group - or even sounds - can be used although the emphasis should be on goodness. Try repeating the word 'love' a thousand times over. Creating a connection to self is the goal of chanting, and the process is meant to be inclusive and fun.


Toning with your own voice can improve health, greatly


reduce stress, release negative emotions, strengthen immune system, increase energy, improve self-confidence, enhance memory and creativity, transform relationships, accelerate natural healing help you ascend to new dimensions of reality. Toning is the basis process of "letting go" of basic, natural sounds to attain a sense of balance, harmony and centering. Some examples of natural toning include: yawning, moaning, crying, sighing or screaming. The release of these natural tones results in the harmonizing of emotions, mind and body.


Research has shown that drumming can actually strengthen the immune system, create a calming focus and is even hypnotic. A steady rhythm on the drum connects us to the heart. The healing effects have been shown to improve conditions of Alzheimer, autism, trauma and emotional disturbances.



Since there are hundreds of ways you might be able to interpret music, it's no surprise that music therapists have a variety of different ways to use music within a session with a client. Here are just some of the ways that music can be utilized in the therapeutic environment:


Sometimes just listening to music together can help a client become more relaxed and will inspire them to talk about things on their mind.

Active listening

When the client or the therapist brings in a certain song to be listened to during the session, this begins a conversation that interprets the meaning for both people. For example, a therapist might bring in a song about divorce and then talk about the client's reactions to the song in relation to their own experiences with divorce.

Passive listening

Often, background music is used to help sooth a frazzled patient or population. This is why you find softer and calmer music on the phone when you're on hold or in an elevator.


For some clients, actively creating music helps them to access different emotions or memories they want to understand. Or creating music can help a person dealing with an illness forget about the illness for a moment. And you don't have to be good at making music or have any skills at all. Just singing your feelings or banging on a drum works just as well.

Lyrical therapy

By having a client write a new song about their feelings, often to the tune of a familiar song or a song which has negative connotations for them, the therapist is helping the client transmute their feelings into something positive that they can access and understand.

Entertainment value


A therapist might play songs that will allow patients with chronic diseases to relax and feel less pain. Those with Alzheimer's, for example, might enjoy listening to songs from their youth in order to feel happy and content.

Motor skill processing

By playing songs with a strong rhythm, the therapist can help a client work on specific skills and goals they wish to reach.

Motivational music

Those who are in physical therapy will often have a tough time imitating the movements that the therapist wants them to do. With fast paced music and motivational lyrics, this music therapy can help them push through to the end.

Artistic responses to music

While listening to music in a session, the therapist might ask the client to draw what they see or feel in relation to the music. There are numerous ways a music therapist can incorporate music into their practice. While different people respond to different musical tools, there is certainly something for everyone and for every therapy goal.



Music therapists use music experiences as a tool to address non-musical goals. Music therapists assess individuals in cognitive, behavioural, physical, emotional, social and emotional skill areas and design music interventions based on the needs, strengths and abilities of each individual. Music therapists are actively engaged in goal development, treatment planning, progress and evaluations. They may also be part of an interdisciplinary team. Music therapists use music in a variety of ways including: active music making and improvisation, listening to music, song-writing, movement to music, music and imagery, and music reflection.



Though it's hard to say exactly what a music therapy session will be like for you, there is a certain format that your therapy will follow.

First of all, you will be assessed to see what the main concerns and goals are for your particular therapy treatment plan. The therapist will ask you a number of questions to see what concerns you have and what your familiarity with music might be.

If you don't already have a diagnosis for your mental troubles or physical troubles, you will want to make sure this is something that you get first in order to further streamline the therapy process and get it moving in the proper direction.

After the initial assessment, you will probably notice that your therapy session begins with simply talking about the concerns you have at that particular time.

If you have no troubles handling the things you wish to speak of, you might not even delve into a musical technique.

But if your therapist notices you are having troubles talking about or expressing your feelings, you might be asked to: Choose a song that expresses your feelings Listen to a particular song Write out lyrics for a song that expresses your concerns Dance around to music to express yourself Bang on a drum Play with other instruments in the room Sing Chant Etc.

While you might feel funny at first doing any of these things, your musical therapist is simply trying to coax you away from feeling stuck and unable to process your feelings.

This activity can go on for a bit and then you will begin to talk about the experience, what it meant for you, and what you may have learned from the activity.

Some music therapists will also assign homework for their clients, such as choosing a song for the next treatment session or perhaps just that they figure out a treatment technique that they would like to try the next time. Each visit with a music therapist will probably be different from the one before and this is a good thing.

The more you stimulate the brain to access potentially dormant parts, the more success you will have in your goals.



Music Therapy sessions are always goal driven and so what actually happens in the session will vary greatly depending on the needs and level of participation of the students. However, the structure and format of a music therapy session are almost always the same.

Gathering Song

To begin each session, they need a song to say hello and gather people together. Sometimes, they will sing hello to all of the group members and other times doesnt address each member, but the purpose of the song is the same. It is used to bring everyone together and gather the group to begin music. Sometimes the Gathering Song includes instruments for the students to take turns or share and support peer social interactions. Other times, a Gathering Song would include Body Percussion like clapping hands, patting knees, or stamping feet.

Goal Driven Music Experiences

Depending on the group goals, the music experiences in the session may include a variety of music therapy strategies and interventions. Here are some goal areas and examples of music therapy strategies our music therapists may use. Increasing joint attention (group members all focused on the same thing at the same time) They may do more body percussion and imitating body movements. Increasing verbal expressions They may do some improvisational singing on syllables and other sounds. Developing appropriate social skills They may do a song with questions and answers, asking each other how your day was. Increasing Receptive Language Skills They may use instruments to work on following simple instructions. Developing Skills to Participate in Groups

They may use song writing as a way to work collaboratively as a group towards a goal such as completing a song or recording a CD.

Cool Down

They often include a Cool Down in the music therapy sessions to bring us all back to a quiet place after a lot of intense effort on our goal areas. In some sessions, this is active listening to quiet guitar music and in other sessions, it may be a movement activity with scarves. Either way, the purpose is to bring us back to a quiet place, relax our bodies and our minds, and prepare us for the transition to say goodbye.

Closing Song

A closing song tells everyone in the group that our music time is finished and we are transitioning to the next activity. We say goodbye to each other in the song structure and then if its appropriate we will stand up and move on to the next thing in the music making it a seamless musical transition. This is often very helpful and successful in classrooms that have a difficult time transitioning. So this is an outline for a 30-45 minute music therapy session.


For music therapy to be most effective, certain conditions are essential. They are:

General A music therapy room, which is private, where there is little chance of being overheard or disturbed. Instruments that are varied in timbre and of good quality. These should preferably include a good piano. Time for planning and assessment of each session. Tape and video facilities for recording the work should also be available.

Clinical Considerations Clients should meet in the same room (preferably a specific music therapy room) and at the same time each week. Whether a group is to be closed or open should be decided beforehand, as should the length of time for each session. Consistency and commitment of members of staff who attend the sessions are vital.

Music therapy in schools

When working in a school the music therapist often works in the school music room

School Music Room

Private Instruments Piano Recording facilities Consistent use

Usually Yes Usually Possible, therapist can set up own equipment Yes


Music therapy in a day centre

In a day centre the music therapist is likely to work in any available space, like this room set up for a music therapy group.

General Room

Private Instruments Piano Recording facilities Consistent use

Usually Usually provided by therapist Not usually Possible, therapist can set up own equipment Yes

Music therapy in a therapy centre

In a music therapy centre the therapist would usually work in a room designed for therapy work.

Therapy Room

Private Instruments Piano Recording facilities Consistent use

Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

Other environments

Due to the nature of the clients and type of work therapists sometimes work in other places. For example: At a clients home At the clients bedside in hospital


The environment the therapist works in may have an impact on the types of instruments that can be used (see equipment & instruments) Storage and transport of instruments for therapists not working in specific therapy rooms can also be an important issue (see storage & transport)



Basic purpose:

Positions within this job family are assigned responsibilities for planning, organizing and directing or conducting patient therapy programs and instructing or supervising mentally ill or handicapped patients in music activities as a part of a therapeutic program.

Typical functions: Evaluates patient capabilities and develops a treatment plan of musical activities adapted to the needs, interests, abilities and medical history of patients. Administers established professional treatment procedures; teaches and guides patients utilizing the treatment activities of the field of music therapy. Establishes therapeutic goals for individuals and plans programs to meet these goals. Periodically evaluates patient's progress toward established goals. Maintains clinical notes and records. Prepares reports of patient's reactions indicating the effectiveness of various activities. Coordinates the music therapy program with other services such as nursing, clinical, psychological and social service in order to accomplish overall therapeutic goals. Conducts prescribed therapy projects involving special instruction in vocal and instrumental music. Instructs and supervises patients or students in choral or instrumental groups and related music activities. Participates in organizing special musical entertainment programs for the institution and selects music for its best therapeutic effect. Directs Music Therapy Aides and Assistants implementing program activities.

The functions within this job family will vary by level, but may include the following:

Level descriptors:

The Music Therapist job family consists of three levels which are distinguished by the complexity of the duties performed, the depth and breadth of accountability, the expertise required to perform assigned duties, and the responsibility assigned for the leadership of others.





This is the career level where incumbents function at the full performance level in providing professional level therapy to patients.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities required at this level include knowledge of the principles and practices of music education, including both individual and group techniques; of music therapy and instrumentation; of the goals and practices of rehabilitation therapy as applied to musical activities of an institution or hospital; and of instructional techniques. Ability is required to supervise, organize and instruct the mentally disabled; to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing; and to plan and administer an appropriate and effective music therapy program. Education and Experience requirements at this level consist of a bachelors degree in music therapy, music education or a closely related field; or an equivalent combination of education and experience, substituting one year of experience in a music therapy program for each year of the required education.




This is the specialist level where employees perform advanced level duties and responsibilities as a music therapist. Incumbents demonstrate expertise in the practice of music therapy, work independently, and coordinate a music therapy program. Positions which are the only music therapy position at a facility or institution, with overall responsibility for developing and implementing a music therapy program, may be included in this level.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities required at this level include knowledge of the principles and practices of music education, including both individual and group techniques; of music theory and instrumentation; of the goals and practices of rehabilitation therapy as applied to musical activities of an institution of hospital; and of supervisory techniques. Ability is required to supervise, organize and instruct staff and patients; to establish and maintain effective working relationships with others; to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing; and to plan and administer an effective music therapy program.


Education and Experience requirements at this level consist of a bachelor's degree in music therapy, music education or a closely related field and three years of experience in a music therapy program; or an equivalent combination of education and experience.




This is the leadership level where employees are assigned responsibility for the supervision of others in developing and implementing a music therapy program.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities required at this level include those identified in Level II plus knowledge of supervisory principles and practices. Education and Experience requirements at this level consist of those identified in Level II.



What many people dont realize about therapy is that it's not just the techniques and tools that are being used it's the therapist that uses them.

In the therapy setting, you need to feel safe and comfortable expressing your feelings and ideas about your problems. This will help you to talk more and get more out of each session. To make sure you get the best therapist possible, you will need to follow these guidelines:

Look for certification

There are several different types of certifications that a music therapist might have: RMT, MT-BC, CMT, or ACMT. All of these should have been conferred by the local or the state board of music therapy, so ask to see a copy of their certification and then double check it with the American Music Therapy Association and the certification board.

Ask about experience

While there's nothing wrong with having a newer therapist, if you have serious troubles you need help with, it might be a good idea to work with a therapist who has been practicing for over five years.

Ask about specialties

Every patient is different, but a music therapist that specializes in the area of your concerns will be the one who will help you the most. Talk briefly about your goals and issues on the phone when making your initial appointment to see if you and your therapist are a good match.

Ask about tools and techniques

Though it's possible you might never use some of the tools and techniques your therapist uses, it helps to know what you may be asked to do in order to get a sense of your comfort with that.

Check with your insurance


Many health insurance companies are now covering music therapy either as a whole or a percentage of the payments. By looking into the recommendations of your insurance company, you can increase the odds that your treatments will be paid for.

Consider the school where the music therapist went

With all of the diploma mills and less than satisfactory schools out there, you need to make sure your music therapist want to one of the better schools before you sign up to work with them. Contact the school to see if they were actually a student to be safe.




Indian classical 'Ragas' have been acclaimed By Vedic science to have healing effects. Music has frequently been used as a therapeutic agent from the ancient times.

In India, music is a kind of yoga system through the medium of sonorous sound, which acts upon the human organism and awakens and develops their proper functions to the extent of self-realization, which is the ultimate goal of Hindu Philosophy and religion.

Melody is the keynote of Indian Music. The 'Raga' is the basis of melody. Various 'Ragas' have been found to be very effective in curing many diseases Related with Central Nervous System. Before using music as Therapy, it must be ascertained which type of music is to be used.

The concept of Music Therapy is dependent on correct intonation and right use of the basic elements of music. Such as notes rhythm, volume, beats and piece of melody.

There are countless 'Ragas' of course with countless characteristic peculiarities of their own. That is why we cannot establish a particular Raga for a particular disease.

Different types of Ragas are applied in each different case. When the term Music Therapy is used, we think world -wide system of therapy.

Music plays an effective role in subduing the so-called emotional imbalance. India's First Music Therapist Dr. Bhaskar Khandekar is a well-known practitioner of Indian Music Therapy (Since 1993). Dr.Bhaskar has obtained his Masters degree in Music and had Ph.D. in very rare subject called "Music Therapy". He is a Classical Violinist. The Music Therapy Day is celebrated on 13 May of each year in India.



In Australia in 1949, music therapy (not clinical music therapy as understood today) was started through concerts organized by the Australian Red Cross along with a Red Cross Music Therapy Committee Key Australian body.

United States

Music therapy has existed in its common current form in the United States since around 1944, when the first undergraduate degree program in the world was founded at Michigan State University and the first graduate degree program at the University of Kansas. The American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) was founded in 1998 as a merger between the National Association for Music Therapy (NAMT, founded in 1950) and the American Association for Music Therapy (AAMT, founded in 1971). Numerous other national organizations exist, such as the Institute for Music and Neurologic Function, NordoffRobbins Center for Music Therapy, and the Association for Music and Imagery. A music therapist may use ideas or concepts from different disciplines such as speech/language, physical therapy, medicine, nursing, education, etc.

A music therapy degree candidate can earn an undergraduate, masters or doctoral degree in music therapy. Many AMTA approved programs offer equivalency and certificate degrees in music therapy for students that have completed a degree in a related field. Some practicing music therapists have held PhDs in non-music-therapy (but related) areas, but more recently Philadelphia's Temple University has founded a PhD program specifically in music therapy. A music therapist will typically practice in a manner that incorporates music therapy techniques with broader clinical practices such as psychotherapy, rehabilitation, and other practices depending on client needs. Music therapy services rendered within the context of a social service, educational, or health care agency can be reimbursable by insurance and sources of funding for individuals with certain needs. Music therapy services have been identified as reimbursable under Medicaid, Medicare, private insurance plans and other services such as state departments and government programs.

A degree in music therapy requires proficiency in guitar, piano, voice, music theory, music history, reading music, improvisation, as well as varying levels of skill in assessment, documentation, and other counselling and health care skills depending on the focus of the particular university's program.


United Kingdom

Live music was used in hospitals after both of the World Wars, as part of the regime for some recovering soldiers. Clinical music therapy in Britain as it is understood today was pioneered in the 60s and 70s by French cellist Juliette Alvin, whose influence on the current generation of British music therapy lecturers remains strong. Mary Priestley, one of Juliette Alvin's students, came to discover/create "analytical music therapy". Analytical music therapy is a form of music therapy which together with the Nordoff-Robbins School of Music Therapy, form the two central forms of music therapy used today.


Research has shown that in many parts of Africa during male and female circumcision, bone setting, or traditional surgery and bloodletting, lyrical music related to endurance has been used to reduce anticipated pain, therapeutically. In 1999, the first program for music therapy in Africa opened in Pretoria, South Africa. Research has shown that in Tanzania patients can receive palliative care for life-threatening illnesses directly after the diagnosis of these illnesses. This is different from many Western countries, because they reserve palliative care for patients who have an incurable illness. Music is also viewed differently between Africa and Western countries. In Western countries and a majority of other countries throughout the world, music is traditionally seen and used for entertainment purposes. Whereas in many African cultures, music is used in recounting stories, celebrating life events, or sending messages.

In a study done in 2003, 20 Scottish patients and 24 Kenyan patients, all having advanced cancers, were asked questions of their experiences, needs and available services. It was found that the Scottish patients and their caregivers thought the emotional pain of facing death was the prime concern. Whereas, in the Kenyan patients and their caregivers, they were most worried about physical pain and financial problems.


In Tanzania, music has strong associations with faith and lifestyle. For instance, Taraab music of Zanzibar is associated with Moslem recreational music. Christian churches are associated with European hymns. Weddings are interestingly enough associated with brass


bands and drums are associated with traditional celebrations. Finally, clubs and bars are associated with dance music.

Tanzanian people varied in the type of music to be used in different circumstances, such as for pain. In a study taken by 17 Tanzanian palliative care participants, two people said they would not use music for patients in pain because of the belief that it could raise the patient's blood pressure and make it worse. The rest of the participants agreed that music would help decrease pain in patients, but they did not know if certain forms of music were better than others in decreasing pain. In this same study, four participants believed that the most helpful form of music would be one that the patient chose as their favourite. Another person believed that music videos could be beneficial because it would use both sound and vision as a distraction for patients. The final 12 participants believed that joyful, up-beat songs would help the patients more, especially if they were having difficulties with loneliness and depression or despair.

In Tanzanian cultures, music without lyrics does not have a lot of meaning, due to most music in Tanzania being used to bring about a message.



For most of us, we've already learned how to use music therapy in our lives without even realizing it. Here are some ways to use music to heal your own woes:

Create a CD mix of songs you associate with good times in your relationship

Whenever you are having a fight with your partner or spouse, play this CD to remind you of why you are together. It can help to defuse your feelings and begin a rational discussion about solutions.

Have soothing music to play in stressful situations

In your car, have classical or New Age music playing during rush hour. At work, have some background music to help you stay calm under pressure.

Bang on a drum

When you create a rhythm on anything in your physical environment, you can begin to soothe your brain and open up the possibility of higher problem solving skills.

Use high energy music during workouts

The more inspiring your music, the more energy you will put into your workout and studies have shown that people who use music during their workouts actually workout for longer periods of time.

Use relaxing or positive music in the background when you're sick

To help support your immune system, make sure you are always listening to uplifting tunes.




A new study review published by the University of Kentucky found that music therapy can be beneficial to patients before, during and after a surgical procedure and may reduce pain and recovery time.

Published in the Southern Medical Journal, the review examined the use of music in the preoperative, intraoperative and postoperative stages of the surgical process, and music was shown to have positive results in all three stages. Patients were less anxious before the procedure and recovered more quickly and satisfactorily after by being exposed to music intra- and post-operation. They also required less sedative medication and reported better satisfaction with their medical experience.

"Music therapists have long known that music can be an effective tool to manage pain and anxiety," said Lori Gooding, UK director of music therapy and lead author on the review. "Here at UK, our music therapists regularly use music-based interventions to help patients manage both pain and anxiety."

Some research suggests that music-based interventions can be effective in reducing anxiety, pain perception and sedative intake. Music that is selected by trained personnel is preferred because specific guidelines for music selection should be followed in order to maximize its positive effect on patients, though the patient's musical tastes should still be considered. It is suggested that several "playlists" be offered and the patient can choose one that best suits their tastes.


Characteristics of the music are also important in effective music therapy. Among other features, the tempo, rhythm and volume of the music can be carefully controlled in order to maximize the positive effect that music can have. Calm, slow, gentle music was shown to produce the most positive results and facilitate relaxation and pain reduction in patients. Data proposes that music could be beneficial in reducing cost and length of stay in intensive care units.

Other findings show that medical music therapists serve as good consultants when implementing music medicine-based interventions. Specialized training can help them to better manage pain and anxiety in surgical patients and it has been proposed that live performances for patients are more effective than recorded music.

UK began providing music therapy for patients in Kentucky Children's Hospital, UK Chandler Hospital and UK Good Samaritan Behavioural Health in October 2010. Based on the findings from this review, Gooding and her team have begun implementing two pilot programs in the pre-op unit at UK, one for procedural support/pain and the other for patient distress.

"Our goal is to decrease patient pain and anxiety as well as improve satisfaction with the surgical experience," Gooding said. "We also hope the program benefits staff by allowing them to do their jobs more easily and effectively." Source: University of Kentucky


STUDIES CONFIRM MUSIC THERAPY'S POSITIVE EFFECTS ON PERCEIVED QUALITY OF LIFE Published on February 21, 2013 After 35 years as a music therapist, Anci Sandell can now present research findings showing that the therapy methods she uses, increases quality of life for people who are being treated for severe medical or psychosocial conditions. On February 22, she will defend her doctoral thesis "Musik fr kropp och sjl - Modell fr interaktiv musikterapi" ("Music for Body and Soul - Model for Interactive Music Therapy") at the Nordic School of Public Health NHV. The defence will be held in Swedish.

It has previously been established within the research community that music and song can lead to reduced levels of stress hormones in children and that stroke patients often find it easier to express themselves through song rather than speech, as well as the fact that music with a clear pulse facilitates movement for patients with Parkinson's disease. New research findings now show that a methodical use of music for treatment purposes can serve as a soothing function in severe medical treatments and also have an identity-strengthening function in youths with severe psychosocial problems.

Anci Sandell has investigated the effects of music therapy within patients undergoing hospital treatment for psychiatric dysfunction, cancer or dialysis. She has also studied the impact of the therapy on cancer-stricken small children and on youths with severe psychosocial problems. The music therapy has been integrated into the other treatment and has taken place in close interaction between the therapist and the patient. The therapy has been individually adapted and contained both pre-recorded and improvised music, but there have also been elements of painted pictures and texts.

The studies confirmed the music therapy's positive effects on perceived quality of life, and gave valuable knowledge regarding how the therapy needs to be adapted to each respective target group. Based on the research findings, therapy can be structured and adapted better to various target groups in the future and also to the needs of the individual patient or client. "It is not surprising that music therapy has proved to have such positive effects. Music can lower the pulse, the blood pressure, and the levels of stress hormones, as well as improve breathing", Anci Sandell explains. "Music has been used as a healing power since antiquity, but it is an underused treatment method in modern care. I hope that my research findings will contribute to music therapy having a more significant role in the future." Source: Nordic School of Public Health




Dr. M.HARI HAAREN is the only Music Therapist and Music Healer from India. Is also a Vocal Performing Musician having trained from the age of 7 in both the systems of Indian Music (North and South Indian Tradition). He holds a Ph.D in ethnomusicology from India and Hon. Ph.D from USA on Music Therapy. He has widely travelled and has attended many International Conferences in USA, South Korea, Japan, Australia, Germany, Italy, Greece, Netherlands, Singapore , Hong Kong and Malaysia. He has conducted more than 300 workshops and 200 Lectures on the Healing Powers of Indian Music Therapy, Chanting and Kirtan in several countries including USA, Canada, UK, Italy, Austria, Singapore, Seoul, Japan, Hong Kong. Switzerland, Germany, Greece. He has composed and released 24 Audio CD's and 3 DVDs on Indian Music Therapy with Musical melodies through traditional Indian Musical instruments like Sitar, Tambura, Tabla, Veena, Violin, Flute, Santur, Mridangam, Jaltarangam etc. for Women, IT professionals, Legal Professionals, Police, Children, Heart patients, Nervous disorders, Pain Killer, Ayurveda, Yoga, Journalists, Women, 50++ age groups, Diabetes, Cancer, etc. His latest additions are the CDs for Music Healing for PETS at home. (Cats, Dogs, Fish and Cows) He is also a Vedic Astrologer and applies the influence of Cosmic effect for solving health problems of the people.

Currently he is the Head of the College of Fine Arts and Performing Arts and Special officer for the Culture Department of the Government of Pondicherry, Pondicherry, India. He has taught at Universities in Tanjore, Mysore and Madurai in South India.

He was awarded the Rajiv Gandhi Excellence Award and the State Fine Arts Academy of Kerala for the achievements in the field of Music, Musicology. He is also the Chairman of the Society for Music Education, Therapy and Research based in Pondicherry and the Indian Music Therapy Research Foundation based in Kerala.




Indian classical 'Ragas' have been acclaimed By Vedic science to have healing effects. Music has frequently been used as a therapeutic agent from the ancient times.

In India, music is a kind of yoga system through the medium of sonorous sound, which acts upon the human organism and awakens and develops their proper functions to the extent of self-realization, which is the ultimate goal of Hindu Philosophy and religion.

Melody is the keynote of Indian Music. The 'Raga' is the basis of melody. Various 'Ragas' have been found to be very effective in curing many diseases Related with Central Nervous System. Before using music as Therapy, it must be ascertained which type of music is to be used.

The concept of Music Therapy is dependent on correct intonation and right use of the basic elements of music. Such as notes rhythm, volume, beats and piece of melody.

There are countless 'Ragas' of course with countless characteristic peculiarities of their own. That is why we cannot establish a particular Raga for a particular disease.

Different types of Ragas are applied in each different case. When the term Music Therapy is used, we think world -wide system of therapy.

Literature of Vocal part of Indian Classical Music is not sufficient in that case. Classical music with its unique swara/note structure ensures calm and cosy mind by exposure and subdues the emotion provoking situations. Music plays an effective role in subduing the so-called emotional imbalance. India's First Music Therapist Dr. Bhaskar Khandekar is a well-known practitioner of Indian Music Therapy (Since 1993). Dr.Bhaskar has obtained his Masters degree in Music and had Ph.D.


in very rare subject called "Music Therapy". He is a Classical Violinist. The Music Therapy Day is celebrated on 13 May of each year in India.






Music therapy is an extremely effective treatment in improving the quality of life for patients. Music therapy helps patients with problems that affect their cognition, emotion and mood, social interaction, and general health. Overall, music therapy is effective because it exercises the brain in a number of different ways. Whenever patients are exposed to music therapy, they are usually better off than they were before, and they seem happier. Happiness and contentment are probably two of the best characteristics to have when dealing with a condition as serious as Alzheimer's disease. At the very least, music therapy does not appear to have worsened problems. Music therapy also makes it easier to take care of patients, which allows caretakers to help them further. Perhaps music therapy should be used much more often for people with dementia and Alzheimer's disease. It provides a welcoming alternative to drugs and restraints. Maybe additional education and publicity about the positive effects of music therapy on dementia and Alzheimer's patients will encourage more people to get involved. Even though there may not be a cure yet, victims of dementia are still living people who deserve a humane life, however long or short that may be. Music therapy can provide this. Music therapy provided by a professionally trained therapist can be a safe and useful form of complementary medicine in oncology to decrease patient stress and anxiety, relieve pain, provide distraction, and promote the expression of feelings. Institutional support and education can be a critical determining factor in whether music therapy is implemented and how nursing staff, patients, and families receive it.


BIBLIOGRAPHY evid=962118284&sa=X&ei=pDtgUbLiFIjkrAe204HgBg&sqi=2&ved=0CJEBENUCKA M id=962118284&sa=X&ei=pDtgUbLiFIjkrAe204HgBg&sqi=2&ved=0CJIBENUCKAQ 962118284&sa=X&ei=pDtgUbLiFIjkrAe204HgBg&sqi=2&ved=0CJMBENUCKAU vid=962118284&sa=X&ei=pDtgUbLiFIjkrAe204HgBg&sqi=2&ved=0CJABENUCKAI

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