Music therapy is a clinical evidence-based therapy in which music interventions are used to treat various psychological diseases including anxiety, depression, and mood swings, and improve mental strength.
Many studies, clinical trials, and research have been conducted that prove music is very beneficial to improve and maintaining mental health.
It is found that students who listen to classical music have lower levels of stress and anxiety and do better in their exams.
Singing stimulates the brain and improves skills, coordination, and creativity in a person.
What Are the Benefits of Music Therapy?
Research has shown that blood flows more easily when music is being listened. It reduces heart rate, lowers blood pressure, decreases cortisol (stress hormone) levels, and increases serotonin and endorphin levels in the blood.
It elevates mood. Listening to music can empower a person by increasing their ability to think, memorize and control emotions.
It has the power to relax the mind. Music can be used to treat various motor nerve disorders as they act as supportive and facilitative therapy in rehabilitation.
Music has been proven as a powerful tool for brain adaptation and controlling emotional and thought processes. Music induces endorphins, also known as happy hormones, which calm the nervous system and help to ease anxiety symptoms.
Music can be engaging, emotional, physical, personal, social, and persuasive, and it promotes synchronization of movement.
Several researchers have also speculated on the neural mechanisms underlying improvements in speech, motor, and memory functions following music-based interventions.
Uses of music therapy
Music therapy is used in the treatment of various nervous system disorders, cardiac conditions, depression, autism, substance abuse, and Alzheimer’s disease.
It can help with memory, lower blood pressure, improve coping, reduce stress, improve self-esteem, and more.
Many of us prefer to plug in our headphones to listen to our favorite songs before going to bed after a long day. This helps in reducing your stress for the entire day and lets you fall asleep easily.
Research has shown that listening to music reduces cortisol levels, which is a stress-causing hormone.
Therefore, it comes as no surprise that music, a kind of art that is effective in reducing feelings of grief, can also be used to treat physical and mental health issues.
Music therapy helps in improving the cognitive abilities of individuals and slows down the onset of dementia among the elderly. It has a high level of efficacy among Alzheimer’s patients.
Music helps people feel more confident, more relaxed, and more emotionally healed. Additionally, music can help those who have endured traumatic events and can aid people in managing pressure and stress.
Advantages of music therapy for general mental health
- Lowering blood pressure
- Improves Communication skills (using vocal/ verbal sounds and gestures)
- Social skills enhancement (making eye contact, initiating interaction, and self-esteem)
- Sensory skills (listening, levels of awareness)
- Physical skills (fine and gross motor control and movement)
- Cognitive skills (concentration and attention, imitation, and sequencing)
- Emotional skills (expression of feelings non-verbally)
- Improving memory
- Enhanced communication and social skills through experiencing music with others.
- Self-reflection. Observing your thoughts and emotions. Reducing muscle tension.
- Self-regulation by developing healthy coping skills to manage your thoughts and emotions.
- Increasing motivation.
Music therapy is mainly used as a supportive treatment for
- Behavior disorders.
- Mood and anxiety disorders.
- Attention deficit/Hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
- Autism spectrum disorders (ASD).
- Substance abuse disorders.
A List of Music Therapy Techniques
Any one of the below would help you gain the benefits of music in mental health.
- Create music by composing music, writing lyrics, or making up music together.
- Singing songs of your interest.
- Listen to music to Enjoy the sound and lyrics.
- Moving with music – It can be as simple as tapping your toes together or as complicated as a coordinated dance.
- Discussing lyrics – Read or listen to the lyrics of a song and talk about their meaning.
- Playing an instrument – Use an instrument like a piano, guitar, drum, etc. to share music.
Music is an excellent therapeutic tool that can be used by each and everyone to improve their mental health and be happy.
The rhythm, pitch, and swaras of music create a pattern that stimulates our brain regions to trigger happy hormones and keep us healthy and strong psychologically.