Music Therapy is a discipline in which Certified Music Therapists use music purposefully within therapeutic relationships to support development, health, and well-being. Music Therapists use music safely and ethically to address human needs within cognitive, communicative, emotional, musical, physical, social, and spiritual domains. The elements of music include sound (pitch, timbre, duration, etc.), rhythm, melody, tonality, harmony, expression (tempo, articulation, dynamics), and resonance (vibration, reverberation, vibrato, feedback, etc). Humans are designed with similar systems of rhythm, harmony, expression, sound, tonality, and resonance. Think about your heartbeat, your pulse, your sleep cycles, your breath, the sound of your voice – it’s pitch and inflection, your expression, your joy when a group of individuals find harmony or synchronicity. This makes music a useful tool to use as a form of therapy. Because of this:
- The use of singing and breath work can help to calm the sympathetic nervous system and emotionally regulate the body.
- Music is registered all over the brain and can therefore be used as an access point for rehabilitation when there is damage to one section of the brain.
- Rhythm can be used as an entrainment tool to help your brain and body calculate and anticipate movements necessary for daily activities including walking and navigating your environment.
- Of all 5 senses, hearing/sound is the very last to deteriorate in an ageing or palliative body.
- Music makes us happy! The “pleasure” hormones and neurotransmitters, dopamine and serotonin, are released when listening and engaging in musical activity.
…and more. No previous musical experience is required.