Who Can Benefit from Music Therapy?
Music therapy is as far reaching as the lifespan, and its impact is as timeless as music itself. So who can benefit from music therapy? Everybody can (but we’ll be a lot more specific on who is a good candidate!)
Music Therapists are trained to use music to promote positive change in every walk of life. From babies in the NICU to children with special needs, from teens with Depression, to adults with Anxiety or older adults with Alzheimer’s music can always expand and bring meaning to life.
However as author Patrick Lencioni points out, the enemy of commitment is ambiguity. So in an effort to avoid the ambiguity of everyone benefitting from music therapy, I will identify several populations who can especially benefit.
Music Therapists work with a wide range of clients, so I will not endeavor to include everyone who may actually benefit from music therapy.
Babies in the NICU, adults in Hospice care, people in medical settings, or those with Neurological disorders are just a few examples of those who may need music therapy that will not be included on this list. I will stick to what we do at Harmony Music Therapy, and empower readers to continue searching if your particular needs are not listed here.
Music Therapy Benefits children, teens, and adults with:
Individuals with Autism are often drawn to music, and it can play a significant role in helping them gain skills in language, communication, social skills, and emotional regulation. We also discover unseen strengths in music therapy as clients do things they haven’t done previous.
We see our clients with Down syndrome make big gains in social skills, language, communication, emotional regulation, and even self esteem. Music is a fun and effective way to bring about these core changes, and also to discover new skills that were just waiting to come out!
Music engages people across the lifespan, and can make learning infinitely more effective and enjoyable. Children with developmental delays often experience more rapid progress when music is introduced.
Speech and Language Delays
Music accesses speech centers in the brain and can both motivate and facilitate language production. Depending on the neurology of the client, some will be able to sing even if they cannot speak. Others will simply be more motivated to communicate through singing and creating music.
Because music accesses emotions in real and powerful ways, it can help those with Depression find voice for their feelings, as well as improve their sense of self as they express themselves and practice new coping skills.
Music Therapy can significantly reduce stress and anxiety, and help patients gain clarity to discover the underlying cause of anxiety. It can become a positive coping skill and help reduce ongoing feelings of anxiety.
It is difficult to process traumatic events through talk therapy alone. Music Therapy plays a significant role in helping someone who has experienced trauma to connect with their emotions in a safe and effective way, and then to work through those emotions and find healing.
Music provides effective reality orientation for those experiencing psychosis. It can help people feel more grounded in the here and now, and connect with other people in the process, thereby helping them to feel more centered and focused on reality.
Grief and Loss
Walking through the stages of grief is hard enough as it is. Music therapy provides beautiful support for those in the process and can be a source of real and gentle healing.
Of course there are many more instances where music therapy can have a significant impact on a person. If you’re interested in seeing how music therapy can help you, schedule your free trial session to see for yourself.