Blog: How can music therapy help you?

Music is ingrained within us in one way or another, you may not be able to sing or play an instrument, but it still evokes emotion and memories which could be used as leverage to treat traumas or disabilities.

The music itself can help people of all ages suffering from stress, anxiety or simply feeling down. For example, a nursing home in Dundee made an appeal for used iPods, MP3s and phones to allow loved one’s to record songs for the residents.

This has resulted in residents who don’t normally communicate or engage with others to become more energised by their music and improve their quality of life.

Through the use of music therapeutically, cognitive, physical, lingual and sensorimotor functions can be addressed to help people live a more fulfilled life after an illness, disability, accident or a trauma.

Music can:

  • Improve the ability to manage anger, anxiety and depression
  • Improve concentration, coordination and body awareness
  • Improve physical and emotion literacy
  • Improve basic abilities such as speech and physical movement
  • Replace non-desirable social behaviours with desirable ones

It works by connecting music and movement through accessing undamaged parts of the brain to learn and re-teach functions that have been impaired. For example, for someone who has suffered from the loss of speech due to a stroke, music can create new pathways so verbal communication can be learnt again.

Music therapy, in general, allows people to become more aware of themselves, their actions and the overall coordination of movement. It identifies emotion by using musical aspects, tones and rhythms to communicate with the different receptors in our brain.

As a result of music processors being present all over the brain and despite the damaged area, musical neurons are used to gain access to the non-damaged parts. It can stimulate and develop new aspects such as walking or communicating, taking away the focus from learning directly. It allows our bodies and functions of our brain to respond to music and re-learn behaviours that were lost, helping individuals gain back control of their life.