Music and Its Place in Therapy
When is the last time music made you happy, brought back a warm memory, or fostered a sense of calm in your life? Odds are good it was not long ago. Music’s ability to enhance overall wellbeing has led many healthcare organizations, including Catholic Eldercare, to offer Music Therapy, delivered by professional Music Therapists, to the communities we serve.
Music Therapy is the clinical & evidence-based use of music interventions to reach a non-musical goal to address the physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs of individuals by a credentialed professional. -American Music Therapy Association
Catholic Eldercare’s care team includes four Music Therapists who have each met the requirements below:
- A bachelor’s degree or higher in Music Therapy from an accredited and approved university. This education includes training in music, medicine, and psychology as well as 1200 hours of clinical training.
- A 6-month, full-time, clinical internship at an approved site for eligibility to graduate and sit for the board-certification exam.
- Continuing education to ensure clinical practice aligns with evidence-based guidelines.
Engaging in music therapy has been shown to promote better physical and mental health, enhance memory, and improve the ability to communicate. For these reasons, music therapy is especially beneficial for older adults, as it can help to deal with age-related challenges such as stress, depression, and chronic pain.
No matter what one’s age, staying physically active is important. Music inspires people to move their bodies. For those who are living with physical limitations, even gentle motions such as toe-tapping or clapping can help maintain or improve flexibility and mobility.
Music therapy has been shown to create a positive reaction when a person is listening to a tune that reminds them of their past; especially helpful for those who have dementia. It is also an excellent reliever of anxiety and depression because it reduces levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
Within the senior population, it is not uncommon for people to experience feelings of loneliness, isolation, and depression. A valuable aspect of music therapy is its capability to help promote social interaction. Music has been used through time and across cultures to bring people together. When played in a group setting, music can foster positive connections as group members sing along and talk about things they experienced in their youth.
Music and music therapy help build vital connections that keep people socially active, increase happiness and cognitive health, and improve overall wellbeing.
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