Music as a form of therapy

A brain with headphones on. Photo courtesy: Harvard Health

Music serves multiple purposes in modern-day society. It can serve as the soundtrack to our lives,  help set the tone for anyone’s day and act as a “pick-me-up” to aid in reflection and solace.

Additionally, it can serve as a form of escapism for people to find a sense of peace within a soundscape. However, music isn’t always considered a valid form of therapy.

With most common forms of therapy, people don’t look to alternative forms of treatment that could also help provide the same healing. Today, music can be seen as a good alternative therapy that the public should look into more often.

Cathy Wong, in a VeryWellMind article, says “music therapy is a therapeutic approach that uses the natural mood-lifting properties of music to improve their mental health and overall well-being.”

Music creation, discussing and critiquing songs, and general music listening can help those with depression and anxiety, among other things.

The description of the practice makes it seem as if it is something that anyone can do on their own time, which in some ways is true.

An assortment of signs showcasing the various paths music therapy can help along. Photo courtesy: Vibe Music Academy

On the other side, like any form of therapy, there are various clinical forms of musical therapy that all serve multiple purposes.

According to the American Music Therapy Association website, the usage of music therapy can vary from usage with special education to usage for military veterans. Each practice uses a different form of therapeutic approach from behavioral or cognitive processes.

This shows a small glimpse of the various uses music therapy offers and the different therapeutic approaches it can have.

Bethesda Health, a senior living and care service, interviewed music therapists to gain insight into the profession.

One of the therapists, Linda Mcnair, describes the practice as “non-triggering and non-intrusive.” She also describes the approach in her situation with senior living and care. She also describes the method to help stimulate physical health and memories that can be unlocked through the power of the therapy form.

Everything described above all looks into it from a clinical perspective. On the contrary, these regular practices of listening to music and finding comfort within it can also serve as a form of music therapy.

Though the profession and the form of therapy at large aren’t looked at much, the practice can provide multiple outlets for one to heal and grow with themselves. If anything, music therapy proves that “facing the music” doesn’t always have to be bad.