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A melodic tune, a beautiful singing voice, the soothing sound of the harp…are you soothed by simply thinking about these sounds? Soothing the soul, releasing anxiety and calming the mind are just a few outcomes credentialed music therapists can achieve with their clients. Music, both vocal and instrumental, is a proven source of effective therapy for many different situations commonly found in healthcare and educational settings.
Research supports the success of using music therapy to help promote overall health and wellness, manage stress and anxiety, improve memory, release repressed feelings and emotions, improve overall communication and support physical rehabilitation efforts. Music therapy is used for persons who are incarcerated and veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress syndrome and other wartime physical and mental health issues. Music helps special education and autistic children as well as our senior citizens and those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
One of the most interesting applications of music therapy includes treatment for people who have been in or responded to crisis or trauma. For 8 months following the tragedy of 9/11, the New Your City Music Therapy Relief Project (a program developed by the American Music Therapy Association and underwritten by The Recording Academy) provided direct music therapy for children and adults in the metro area. The organization designed 19 distinct programs for caregivers, relief workers, schools, teachers and communities as they dealt with the emotional and physical aftermath of the crisis.
So next time you turn on the radio, listen to your iPod or strum your guitar remember all the gifts and benefits which we derive from music. There is so much more than what meets the ear.
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