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The Power Of Music Therapy Essay

1778 words - 7 pages

After great practice, Josh Clark learned to spell his last name. This may not seem like a grand accomplishment, but for Josh, it is. Josh has down syndrome. He attends weekly music therapy sessions and his parents are seeing great progress. Mother said, “Within a week, he learned how to spell ‘Clark’. Without music therapy, it would have taken several weeks or several months. So how does music help Josh to learn at a faster rate than without music? Josh’s music therapist knew that Josh was accustomed with the song “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star,” so she used that to help him learn. Josh listened to her sing each letter of his last name to the familiar tune. His mom thinks, “Music therapy helps him to focus. He loves it. He’s always loved music.” It is true that music is a large part of everyone’s lives, whether it is listening to it or playing it. Josh also loves playing the maracas, so his music therapist uses the maracas as a reward for spelling his name. To the average person spelling a name is no big deal, but to Josh’s family and friends, it is much more than that. “He takes a lot longer to learn, but there are a lot more small triumphs,” his mom says (AMTA 2014). This family has seen great results from the music therapy and they are not the only ones. As more people with various therapeutic needs begin to see the benefits of music healing, it has become one of the best forms of treatment.
In order to understand why the use of music therapy is growing, one must know what exactly music therapy is. Music Therapy is an established health profession in which music is used within a therapeutic relationship to address physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs of individuals. Music therapy also provides avenues for communication that can be helpful to those who find it difficult to express themselves in words (AMTA 2014). In other words, it is using music to help others. Obviously, the music therapists need to be trained and certified to help in a medical field. They learn what techniques and activities are best for the different types of clients they work with. After assessing the strengths and needs of each client, the qualified music therapist provides the indicated treatment including creating, singing, moving to, and/or listening to music (AMTA 2014). A person does not need to be involved in a music therapy program to see the impact of music on people. Many people turn to music to help them through difficult times. Songs show people that other people understand what they are going through. Music also allows people to escape the world and to relax. Music is used for religious purposes. Music is present in everyday life for all cultures, which is what makes music the perfect form of therapy. Music Therapy is the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music therapy program (AMTA 2014).
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