Music therapy uses music to encourage changes in a person’s wellbeing. These favorable changes could be manifested in changes in physical growth, societal and social development, psychological or spiritual wellbeing or cognitive skills. Music’s benefits exploited and have been known since ancient times. Nevertheless, audio therapy in modern times dates back into the World Wars when music has been utilized in hospitals in the rehab and recovery of soldiers who’d suffered physical or emotional injury. The University of Kansas has been the first University in the US to provide a degree program. Early exponents of audio therapy in the 1950’s to 1970 comprised the French cellist Juliet Alvin and Paul Nordoff and Clive Robbins.
The Nordoff Robbins approach remains utilized in many nations around the globe including the United States, UK, Australia, Germany and South Africa. How does music therapy work? Music is universal and joins across language barriers. People may react irrespective of illness or handicap. Music has an inherent capacity to generate a psychological response in the listener. It stimulates a relaxation response that can consequently result in physiological changes in the body. Music is known to reduce stress thus generating related advantages like lower blood pressure level, enhanced respiration, reduced heart rate, improved cardiovascular operation and reduced tension in muscles. Music is elaborated in the hemispheres of the brain and this stimulation was demonstrated to help in development of speech and language functions.
It promotes socialization and growth of communication, self reflection and motor skills. Children and adults with autism spectrum disorders have been found themselves responding very positively to music and several of them display high degrees of musical skill. Music encourages verbal as well as non verbal communication and promotes social interaction and relatedness. It is valuable outlet for self reflection and creativity. It’s also been successfully utilized at pain management by providing a distraction from the painful stimulus and a way of relaxation and stress alleviation. Children with developmental and learning disability, kids and adults with autism spectrum disorder or special needs and also older people and dementia sufferers have all been shown into benefit from audio therapy. Even though the advantages of audio therapy have been accepted intuitively and based on anecdotal evidence it was not till lately that quantitative evidence of its efficacy started into emerge. In a latest research study conducted by the University of Miami Medical school blood samples of a group of male Alzheimer’s disease patients of Alzheimer’s treated with audio therapy were found into have significantly elevated levels of melatonin, epinephrine and norepinephrine that are chemicals that act on the brain into control mood, depression, aggression and sleep.