Music therapy is calming and good for your health. Once used to calm people who were distressed, research shows that that benefit of music goes beyond simple relaxation to magnificent physical benefits. From helping women in labor to patients in cancer wards, music therapy is proving that it can help reduce pain, protect the heart and fight addiction.
Health Benefits of Soothing Music
The strong beat of music can affect the brainwaves and cause them to resonate with the beat. It can produce sharper concentration or a calm state. Altering the brainwaves allows the music to alter breathing and heart rate, prompting relaxation and counteracting the effects of stress.
Music can also help lower blood pressure, minimizing the risk of stroke. Immunity levels are improved and tension is reduced, allowing the body to heal more effectively. Commonly used in rehabilitation services, it can help people overcome their addictions to drugs and alcohol.
Who Music Therapy Helps
Music therapy can help people of all ages. It is great for those with sensory challenges, development disabilities and victims of substance abuse. From interpersonal problems to physical handicaps and health issues, music can help people improve their physical, mental, social and emotional health.
Searching for a Music Therapist
There are more than 5,000 trained music therapists across the country, so you can probably find one in your area. Multiple visits are not always required because a good therapist may be able to evaluate your interest and make recommendations in just one visit. Whether you are trying to become more outgoing or need better stress relief, you can trust a qualified music therapist to help you meet your goals.
Personal Music Therapy
You can put together a personal playlist that helps you feel more energetic or relaxed. Start by paying attention to how different musical pieces make you feel. If you enjoy a selection and it helps you feel calmer, then you should add it to your playlist. Once you know which genres will help you reach your goals, you can start searching for artists you like within that genre.
Becoming a Music Therapist
If you love the idea of helping people through their favorite musical pieces, then you might enjoy a career in music therapy. A great place to start is with a music degree. These degrees include lessons in music theory, history, composition, conducting, performance and ensembles. Specialized degrees in music therapy include work in foundations, practicum, methods, materials and research.
If you already have a degree in a field other than music therapy, you may qualify for an equivalency program. You will have to complete music therapy courses not yet taken. People with an existing music degree are in an excellent position to make this career change, and it typically only takes about two years for them to complete the music therapy program.
There are many benefits to music therapy. Proven to help reduce pain and improve health, music therapists play an important role in modern society. You can put together you own playlists to benefit from music therapy, sign up for assistance from a music therapist or help transform lives by becoming a therapist.
Lindsey Reyolds writes for education blogs nationwide. Click here to read more about master of music education degrees online.