Who Can Benefit from Music Therapy?
Let’s talk about music therapy and explore who can benefit from this allied health service. At Creative Therapy Adelaide, we know that music is a universal language that transcends communication barriers, and we’re here to shed light on the incredible impact of music therapy on individuals. You’ll also learn along the way, how it might benefit people living with dementia and autistic individuals.
So, throw on your favourite background music and let’s get into how people can benefit from music therapy.
1. Finding Harmony in Dementia
People living with Dementia can experience diminishing memories and communication abilities, but music therapy provides hope and connection. Music has a unique way of accessing deep-seated emotions and memories because of how our brain processes it, even in individuals with advanced dementia. Through personalised playlists, singing, and rhythmic activities, music therapy can enhance mood, stimulate memories, and promote social interaction. Done with care and consideration for the individual’s needs, music brings joy and positive benefits to those living with dementia.
2. Autism and the Language of Music
Autistic individuals can find communication and sensory processing challenging. Music therapy offers a safe and engaging space for individuals to express themselves and feel heard. When utilising live music, it can be altered to suit the sensory processing needs of the individual and the music therapist might use this as a way to help someone improve the range of sounds they can tolerate. By utilising structured musical activities, rhythm exercises, and improvisation, music therapy can also support language and motor development. It can provide new avenues for practising coordination, communication, interacting with others, and enhancing emotional regulation.
3. Emotional Resonance
Music has a profound impact on our emotions, and music therapy harnesses this power to support emotional well-being. Whether it’s providing comfort, reducing anxiety, or enhancing self-expression, music therapy becomes a conduit for emotional resonance. The music therapist might use live music, improvisation, or help the participant develop music playlists. Music therapy creates a safe space where individuals can explore their feelings, find solace, and develop healthy coping mechanisms. Let’s turn up the volume on emotional support through music therapy.
4. Motor Skills in Motion
Music therapy extends its impact beyond emotions and communication, actively stimulating the motor cortex in the brain with tempo and rhythm. Research has revealed that engaging with music, be it through rhythmic exercises, listening, dance, or instrument playing, activates and strengthens neural connections within the motor cortex. This neuroplasticity, which can be targeted by music therapy, leads to improvements in fine and gross motor skills. Individuals with motor coordination challenges find music therapy to be an effective and enjoyable avenue for enhancing coordination, balance, and overall motor control.
5. Cognitive Harmonies
Music is a workout for the brain, and music therapy taps into this cognitive potential. For individuals living with dementia, as well as people with neurodevelopment difficulties music therapy stimulates cognitive processes such as memory recall, attention, and problem-solving. Singing along to familiar tunes, engaging in musical games, or playing instruments activates multiple areas of the brain, promoting cognitive growth and enhancing cognitive abilities.
Who can benefit from music therapy - wrap up.
And there you have it! Music therapy weaves a tapestry of engagement and connection: from stimulating memories and enhancing communication to promoting emotional well-being and developing motor skills, music therapy opens doors to growth and empowerment. You can find out more about Music Therapy on the Australian Music Therapy Association website.
If you or someone you know could benefit from music therapy or if you’d like to learn more about accessing music therapy or one of our other services at Creative Therapy Adelaide, don’t hesitate to get in touch on our contact page or give us a call at (08) 7080 4618 to find out more.