Music therapy offers variety of treatment

By Hunter Weston

Music is a universal language. It’s one of humanity’s best pleasures because no matter the language spoken or experiences shared, everyone can appreciate music and what it offers. Because of this, music can be used therapeutically to help those with medical conditions.

Music therapy is used to help many illnesses including Alzheimer’s, Autism and other disorders. Whereas other therapists use talking to help clients reach their goals, a music therapist goes about it differently.

“Music therapy specifically utilizes the music, whatever components within music allow a person to respond, in order to meet their goals,” Joyce Choi, music therapy graduate student at Illinois State University, said.

The American Music Therapy Association website focuses on spreading awareness of music therapy instead of simply using it.

“The mission of the American Music Therapy Association is to advance public awareness of the benefits of music therapy and increase access to quality music therapy services in a rapidly-changing world,” according to the American Music Therapy Association website.

Not only is the association’s purpose to practice music therapy, but also to spread knowledge. Some of the benefits of music therapy include drug-free treatment, gaining musical knowledge, relieving stress and pain alleviation.

“Just listening to music on your own isn’t quite music therapy,” Choi said. “You have to be working with a music therapist, and that therapeutic relationship that you develop with that professional in that setting, that is really more of what you’d call music therapy.”

Besides simply listening to music, music therapy uses practices like singing music, writing music and playing instruments. The treatments used vary in every case. Since music therapy has science to back it up and has established itself as a legitimate form of therapy, the American Music Therapy Association works to polish the music therapy name.

“[The American Music Therapy Association] is committed to the advancement of education, training, professional standards, credentials and research in support of the music therapy profession,” according to the American Music Therapy Website.

Music therapy is in a great place right now and is looking to be on the rise very soon. 

“The future of music therapy is promising because state of the art music therapy research in physical rehabilitation, Alzheimer’s disease and psychoneuroimmunology is documenting the effectiveness of music therapy in terms that are important in the context of a biological medical model,”according to the American Music Therapy website. 

It’s good to know there will be more music therapists helping out those in need out in the world. Expect to hear much from the music therapy community since they won’t be going away any time soon.