Music therapy includes early intervention services for children ages 1 ½ – school age, adaptive music lessons and therapy to improve children’s social, cognitive, communication and motor skills.
We assess emotional, physical health, social functioning, communication abilities and cognitive skills through musical responses. Then, we create a therapeutic music experiences and evaluate children’s/adult progress.
Music Therapy is a functional and scientific application of music by a trained music therapist to enhance an individual’s social, emotional, educational and behavioral development. The purpose of music therapy is to help individuals attain and maintain their maximum levels of functioning. It focuses on meeting therapeutic aims, which distinguishes it from musical entertainment or music education.
Here are some of the examples on how music therapy can help:
Music Therapy for children with developmental delays and learning disabilities:
Children and adults with developmental delays and learning disabilities such as Autism or Down’s Syndrome respond to music by a smile, vocalization, singing, dancing or blinking when otherwise they have difficulty communicating and socially interacting. Music therapy encourages children/adults without a language to communicate.
People with developmental delays can have delayed motor disabilities or physical disabilities. Since music is time ordered it is an ideal stimulus that helps coordinate movement. Children’s motor or physical disabilities can be improved through dance, exercise and creative movement.
Music therapy experiences can improve children’s/adult’s ability to retain information, by improving cognitive skills.
Musical experiences can be used in learning to teach about the colors, shapes, numbers and recalling information by looking at pictures with singing.
In addition, music therapy can provide opportunities for self-expression through instrument playing, singing and song writing. Frustration and anger expressed in a safe way through musical experiences.
Music Therapy for Older Adults
Music Therapy can help reduce the perception of pain and help reduce pre-operative and pre procedural anxiety and fear.
Music Therapy can help ease depression, low self–esteem of people who become ill, by enhancing mood, motivation and self-expression.
It is a useful intervention in pain management. Song writing can be used for expression and help ease anxiety or pain.
Older adults can feel socially isolated. Music therapy can offer opportunities for social interaction through music experiences and interaction with peers during music time. Music therapy helps people with Parkinson’s disease, dementia and Alzheimer’s. It can help older adults recall information through enjoyable participation in music experiences and singing their favorite songs.
Summary of Music Therapy Benefits for Children
• Improved cognitive mastery and organizational skills.
• Increased expressive and receptive language.
• Increased attention span and short/long-term memory.
• Improved fine/gross motor skills.
• Increased emotional expression.
• Improved impulse control and reduced hyperactivity.
• Reduced perception of pain.
• Increased frustration tolerance and ability to relax.
• Improved communication and socialization skills.
• Mood enhancement through music and creative experiences.
• Increased self-esteem, self awareness.
• Improved learning of basic academic and pre-academic concepts.
• Increased tolerance to change in routine and environment.
Summary of Music Therapy Benefits for Older Adults
• Stimulation of the senses, imagination, cognition and creativity.
• Reduced anxiety and restlessness.
• Reduced feelings of isolation or loneliness.
• Improvement of physical activity involving body movement and the use of voice/breath.
• Provides a way to communicate without language. This can be especially important for those who have lost their ability to speak.
• Mood enhancement through music, reminiscing and creative experiences.
• Appropriate outlet for emotions and feelings.
• Improved self-awareness and social skills through positive experiences.
• Improved organization and thought process.