Music Therapy is the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music therapy program. It is the structured use of music to assist people of all ages in times of need. A well-established, healthcare profession, music therapy uses carefully selected music and music interventions to address physical, emotional, cognitive and social needs. While music therapy will not cure or solve problems brought on by crisis, music therapy can help youth in crisis learn and use positive coping skills and express difficult feelings and emotions. Because music therapy is a powerful and non-invasive medium, unique outcomes are possible.
Music therapy has been shown to have a significant effect on an individual’s relaxation, respiration rate, self-reported pain reduction, and behaviorally observed and self-reported anxiety levels.
A coordinated program of music and music therapy interventions in response to crisis or trauma, designed and implemented by a qualified music therapist, provides opportunities for:
- Non-verbal outlets for emotions associated with traumatic experiences
- Anxiety and stress reduction
- Positive changes in mood and emotional states
- Active and positive participant involvement in treatment
- Enhanced feelings of control, confidence, and empowerment
- Positive physiological changes, such as lower blood pressure, reduced heart rate, and relaxed muscle tension
- Emotional intimacy with peers, families, and caregivers
- Relaxation for family groups or other community and peer groups
- Meaningful time spent together in a positive, creative way