Music Therapy benefits are not just for children–it works across the lifespan. Many adults experience stress; music can help reduce stress. Listen to some of your favorite music and dance or relax to it. You’ll either be getting exercise by dancing or lowering your heart rate, blood pressure, and the amount of stress hormones in your body by focusing on your breath and relaxing. Your favorite music is also likely to boost your mood. If you have chronic stress or a medical condition, like high blood pressure, a music therapist may be able to help you by giving you targeted attention and specific music and techniques to lower your blood pressure.
Adults with disabilities can benefit from music as therapy, too. Music therapy techniques can help adults with Autism participate in social events or it can help adults with intellectual challenges to make decisions and solve problems. I see a group of adults with various developmental disabilities who like to perform, so I help them plan where and when to perform, decide what songs to perform, and determine what instruments to use and how to present the song. In this group, they gain confidence, pride, social skills, executive function skills, and communication skills.
Music therapy treatment is also used for adults with brain injuries or spinal cord injuries or other neurological disorders to help improve balance, fine and gross motor skills, and gait training. A person with a neurological impairment may work with a music therapist to improve balance by playing drums placed in various locations requiring the patient to reach for the drum. The drums give a target for the patient so they know how far to reach without going too far. Or the patient may play piano, not only to exercise his fingers, but to do so in a way that may be more meaningful by providing skills on an instrument that can be used for self expression or for leisure.
If you’d like more information on Neurologic Music Therapy or how music therapy can benefit you or a loved one, send me an email. I’d be glad to help!