As someone who was very interested in theatre and music growing up, I was always hearing about the connection between music and therapy. Music therapists help different people overcome or cope with a variety of problems in a unique way through music. It has been used anywhere from helping people talk again to helping cancer patients experience less pain and have a happier journey through their cancer treatments. Music therapists can work anywhere from schools to hospital (American Music Therapy Association). In order to become a licensed music therapist, one must obtain at least a bachelor’s degree in the study of music therapy. There are many standards and codes that a music therapist must abide to, as most therapists must. Additionally, it is assumed that a music therapist would have a specific area of interest and a specific type of patient they would enjoy teaching. But, music therapists have to be ready to shift their means of therapy based on the patient’s needs (American Music Therapy Association).
If, for example, a music therapist wanted to specialize in helping people speak, then they may try to first teach them to sing. Often times it may be easier for a patient to start to hum sentences repeated by the therapist. After that, they may eventually, start to try and sing the words with the therapist. This has proven to be a great remedy to help people speak again after a traumatic incident such as a stroke. A good example of that can be found here. After suffering from a stoke, Peter is learning to speak again through music.
Music therapy has proven successful with patients ranging from autism, military, Alzheimer’s, mental health, children, and pain. Music therapy is a beautiful thing that is starting to become more recognized. There are many parts of music that help music therapy be so successful. As someone who has been heavily involved in many aspects of music for most of my life, I can imagine the ways aspects of music can help improve speech. Things such as dynamics, rhythm, and melody could most definitely help patients. The great thing about music therapy is that there is always room for improvement. For example, once a patient begins to pick up a melody, the music therapist can change the melody or make it more difficult.
Music therapy is turning into a phenomenon which is becoming more and more successful and widely used. With more understanding of how it works and how to get through to patients with many different issues, music therapy can continue to grow and become a great healing mechanism.