Music therapy is used to treat people for various reasons and there are multiple styles of treatment presently being used. Music therapy is an effective form of therapy that is used on people of all ages to improve quality of life.
Music therapy has been used in the medical industry for more than 60 years and there are many people who have no idea what it is. During W.W.I., music therapy in the United States began to develop when music was used in the Veterans Administration Hospitals as an intervention to address traumatic war injuries. There were several musicians who were not working and they would go to the Veteran hospitals to play for the injured soldiers. “Numerous doctors and nurses witnessed the effect music had on veterans' psychological, physiological, cognitive, and emotional state” (University Hospitals Health Systems, 2005-2008, para.2).
Many years ago it would be so hard to find a music therapist, but now music therapists are available in many different locations and facilities. Some of the most common places to find a music therapist are in rehabilitation centers, mental health centers, psychiatric hospitals, daycare treatments centers, medical hospitals, senior centers, drug and alcohol programs, correctional facilities, developmentally disabled persons, schools, and private practice (American Music Therapy Association, 1999).
Music therapy has evolved significantly throughout the years, and there are multiple areas in the medical field that are working together to incorporate different techniques of music therapy. For instance, “Music therapists work collaboratively with physicians, social workers and other hospital staff to create interventions designed to promote wellness, manage stress, alleviate pain, express feelings, enhance memory, improve communication and promote physical rehabilitation” (UCSF, 2003, para. 4). Today music is used for therapy in a variety of ways to treat and heal people who are suffering from a variety of different medical disorders.
Additionally, music therapy is used for breathing and heart rate as well as improving ones state of mind. “Research has shown that music has a profound effect on your body and psyche” (Scott, 2007, para. 1). Music is considered to be a form of sensory that provokes different responses due to the security that it provides to individuals. More than likely, everyone has his or her own type of musical therapy. For example, people who are depressed might listen to their favorite to brighten their mood. Another example would be someone playing their favorite compact disc when they are angry or upset to calm themselves (Sparks, 2007).
There are some common misconceptions about music therapy such as, patients who have to have some kind of music ability in order to be responsive to the treatment, and they do not. In addition, another misconception is that one or more particular styles of music are more beneficial than others styles and that is not the case.