Music therapists spend most of their time explaining, demonstrating, and defining music therapy, which I have done in community presentations twice this week. We often fight the pre-conceived notion that we are just plastering a "therapy" label on an entertainment performance that inadvertently makes people feel "good". On the contrary, music therapy intentionally manipulates the elements of music (tempo, dynamics, lyrics, tension/release, etc.) to evoke responses that bring about desired changes in our clients.
If the desire is to eliminate a limp after a paralyzing stroke, music therapy sets a client's preferred music to a steady beat to create new pathways in the brain that even out one's gait (there's video proof that this happens!). If the desire is to have meaningful interactions with a loved one in the end stages of Alzheimer's, music therapy aims reduce anxiety and provide sensory stimulation by creating a supportive environment to promote loving interactions through sharing of familiar, client-preferred live singing. These are just a few of the many benefits of music therapy, a field that makes music accessible for everyone, despite any limitations, and uses music as our vessel or "tool" to connect with others.
Feel free to contact any music therapist on staff at West Music to determine how you can experience the benefits of music therapy today!