WHAT IS MUSIC THERAPY?
Music therapy is the enhancement of human capabilities through the planned use of musical influences on brain functioning.
WHY DOES MUSIC THERAPY WORK?
Music activates vast areas of neural tissue in the brain, enlisting much more of the brain’s power for use in accomplishing any given task. Music changes neural impulse patterning in the brain, allowing the brain to function differently than it would without music. Music influences human behavior by affecting the brain and subsequently other bodily structures in ways that are observable, identifiable, measurable, and predictable, thereby providing the necessary foundation for its use in treatment procedures.
WHAT DOES MUSIC THERAPY WORK ON?
Cognition: Musical perceptions and participation stimulate the brain to organize incoming stimuli and to plan and execute corresponding behavior, thereby enhancing perceptual ability, cognitive processing, and interactive response capability.
Pain: Because all sound stimuli are accessed by all parts of the brain, sound as music affects pain perception through its direct effect on the ability of the somatosensory cortex to receive pain sensations ascending through the spinothalamic tract following reception by sensors in the periperal nervous system.
Emotion: The normal neurological pathway for sound sensation allows music to have an effect on those structures in the human brain most responsible for emotional behavior, the hypothalamus and limbic system, thereby inhibiting negative emotional reactions which can delay or otherwise interfere with the treatment or recovery process.
Physical and Communication Skills: Active participation in expressive musical activities provides structured movement behaviors necessary for maintenance or recovery of physical function including development of interpersonal communication skills.
Anxiety and Stress: Music has a direct effect on specific physiological processes whose functional variations are indicators of anxiety, tension and stress.