Brianna Higgins This semester I had the pleasure of working with Dr.
Wiggins in a special topics class that was centered around exploring the field of Music Therapy. During my time in the class, I researched the meaning, history, and various aspects of Music Therapy. I also had the privilege of working with Mariah Adkins, who serves as the coordinator of the Music and Memory program at the Elizabeth and Tab Williams Adult Day Center located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. This paper will reflect what I have learned and observed this semester. I will define the term music therapy, provide a brief overview of the history of the practice, and look at the role of music therapy in various aspects. Type the company address Definition and History”Musicis a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to theimagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything.” -PlatoThe American Music TherapyAssociation defines music therapy as, “the clinical and evidence-based useof music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeuticrelationship by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved musictherapy program.
” Music therapy is a profession similar to occupationaland physical therapy. It consists of using music therapeutically to addressphysical, psychological, cognitive, and/or social functioning. In other terms,music therapists use music to attain non-musical goals for people intherapeutic settings, which include but are not limited to schools, hospitals,and private healthcare facilities. Because music therapy is a powerful andnon-threatening agent, exceptional outcomes are possible.
In music therapy,each client is provided with support and encouragement in the attainment of newskills and abilities. It is understood that music touches individuals invarious ways, and because of this participation in music therapy providesopportunities for learning, artistry, and expression that may be notably differentfrom standard educational/therapeutic measures.One might ask, “How did thefield of music therapy come to be?” The idea of music as healing influencethat could affect health and behavior is as old as the writings of Aristotleand Plato. This twentieth-century profession got its start after World War Iand WWII when the local musicians of all types (amateur and professional), wentto Veterans hospitals from around the country to perform for the thousands ofveterans suffering from both physical and emotional trauma from the wars. Thepatients’ exceptional physical and emotional responses to music led doctors andnurses to request the hiring of musicians by the hospitals. It soon becameapparent that the hospital musicians required prior training before enteringthe facilities.
As such, the demand for a college curriculum came to fruition.A concise historical view of this profession is as follows.The earliest known reference tomusic therapy was in 1789 in an anonymous article in Columbian Magazine titled”Music Physically Considered.” During the early 1800s, writings on the therapeutic value of musicappeared in two medical dissertations, the first published by Edwin Atlee(1804), and the second by Samuel Mathews (1806). Atlee and Mathews were studentsof Dr.
Benjamin Rush, a doctor, and psychiatrist who was a strong advocate ofusing music to treat medical diseases. The 1800s also saw the first recordedsystematic experiment in music therapy (Corning’s use of music to alter dreamstates during psychotherapy). Attraction to music therapy continued to gainsupport during the early 1900s, leading to several short-lived associationssuch as the National Society of Musical Therapeutics (1903), the NationalAssociation for Music in Hospitals (1926), and the National Foundation of MusicTherapy (1941). All of which contributed to the first journals, books, andeducational courses for music therapy, however were not able to cultivate anorganized clinical profession. In the 1940s, three persons emerged as innovatorsand key assets in the development of music therapy as an organized clinicalprofession. MusicTherapy for Young Children and EducationFor young children, music therapyprovides opportunities for growth and development while engaging in a motivationalmusical experience. Music stimulates all of the senses and involves children atmany levels.
For families with young children, music therapy createsinteractive experiences where families learn and incorporate meaningful musicalplay into their lives. Although there are many goals and outcomes of musictherapy for young children, the main focus is centered around development andhealthy growth. In the classroom, music therapy helps aid in the teachingprocesses. It is a known fact that not everyone learns the same. As a teacher,it can be difficult to come up with a lesson plan that accommodates everyone’sneeds. Music provides both music therapists and teachers a way to get everyoneinvolved and interacting with the lesson, even those with learning disabilities.Some feel that providing musictherapy services in the school setting is unnecessary and a waste of funds.
However, when you look at the benefits of music therapy programs in schoolsettings it is clear that it provides more benefits than just having standardeducational curriculums. According to Public Law 94-142 (Education for AllHandicapped Children Act) later renamed the Individuals with DisabilitiesEducation Act (IDEA), students with special education needs are entitled to thesame educational opportunities as their average developing peers. The thoughtof providing education in the “least restrictive environment” meansthat every student, regardless of disability, should receive full access to thegeneral education curriculum. As a result, students with more severe learningdisabilities are now included in general education classrooms, not only tofulfill academic needs but to increase socialization.
In students with specialeducation needs, music therapists typically use music activities to promote thedevelopment of motor, communication, cognitive, and social abilities. Musictherapy can be used to address many goals targeted in the Individual EducationProgram (IEP). Through creating, singing, moving, and listening to music, avast range of cognitive, emotional, and physical abilities are brought tofocus. Nationwide, hundreds ofcredentialed music therapists are currently employed at local school districtsand private educational centers.
MusicTherapy for Senior CitizensAs the human body ages, differentareas of the body begin to change. Bones and joints, eyes and ears, digestiveand metabolic, dental, even the skin begins to change in the golden years. Withall these changes there is one that stands out and strikes fear into people everywhere:the brain.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, as of 2017 more than 5million American are living with Alzheimer’s disease. They estimate that by2050, this number could rise to a whopping 16 million. Alzheimer’s Disease isthe 6th leading cause of death in the United States. In 2016caregivers provided an estimated 18.2 billion hours of care valued at over $230billion dollars. Currently more than 15 million American provide unpaid carefor people with Alzheimer’s or other Dementias. These facts shed some light onthe growing issue that is Alzheimer’s disease and other Dementias.
Music Therapyservices have been proven to help seniors restore and maintain their health, aswell as help them recall memories and fight depression. One of the largest growing programs forsenior citizens is the Music and Memory program. The Music and Memory programallows those suffering from Alzheimer’s and Dementia, and other forms ofcognitive impairment, the ability to reconnect with past memories through personalizeddigital music. Clients are given iPods and headsets that are loaded with apersonalized playlist that they have access to at any time.One of the biggest advocators ofthis program is the documentary Alive Inside. Filmmaker MichaelRossato-Bennett follows the experiences of individuals around the country whohave been revitalized simply through listening to music.
The film reveals thehuman connection people find in music and how its healing power can help wheremedicine fails. The documentary follows many healthcare professionals includingsocial worker Dan Cohen, founder of the nonprofit organization Music andMemory, as he fights against a broken healthcare system to showcase music’sability to fight memory loss and restore a deep sense of self to thosesuffering from it. The film also shows interviews with experts where they offertheir expertise on the impact of music.
I had the opportunity to see theprogram in action during my time at the Williams Adult Day Center of SeniorServices, Inc. Mariah Adkins, thehead of the department, explained that even though it was a fairly new programat the center, she had already witnessed the benefits of having the program.Even though the program is designed to stimulate memories, it is also used toimprove mood, and decrease agitation.
At the center, if a patient is having a badday, nurses will often time request Mariah to step in. During these times sheallows the patient to listen to their personal iPod and most often their wholemood changes. The Williams Center has other music activities as well, generallyon Tuesdays and Thursdays. On Tuesdays, they have activities such as Kevin onthe Keys and Drumming with John (a crowd favorite).
During the drummingactivity, the facilitator (John) comes in with percussion instruments and together;he and the patients are able to play amazingly intricate rhythms. This activity,in particular, promotes socialization and movement. Thursdays are normally setaside for kinder music. Kids and parents come in and with the assistance of thepatients, they learn and create nursery rhymes. This also promotessocialization, but it also gives the patients a sense of normalcy. Music therapy treatment has provento be beneficial to senior citizens who have functional deficits in physical,psychological, cognitive, or social functioning. Research and clinicalexperiences attest to the viability of music therapy even in those who do notallow other treatment approaches.
Music therapy for senior citizens is a formof sensory stimulation, which provokes responses because of the familiarity andfeelings of security associated with it.MusicTherapy and MedicineMusic Therapy has been proven to bean effective and valid treatment option for medical patients with a number ofdiagnoses. Music therapy can be used to address needs related to respiration,chronic pain, physical rehabilitation, diabetes, headaches, cardiac conditions,surgery, and obstetrics, just to name a few. The programs are based onindividual assessment, treatment planning, and ongoing program evaluations.Music therapists implement programs with groups or individuals addressing aninfinite number of outcomes, including reduction of pain and anxiety, stressmanagement, communication, and emotional expression. Music therapists offerservices in medical hospitals, skilled and intermediate care facilities,rehabilitation hospitals, adult day care centers, senior centers, hospices,psychiatric treatment centers, and in drug and alcohol programs. In the medicalsetting, music therapists work in many different hospital units, including ICU,NICU, physical rehabilitation, and outpatient programs.
Some therapists areself-employed and work on the basis of independent contracts, while others aresalaried hospital employees.ConclusionMusic Therapy is a field that cannotbe confined to one specific area. It assists the young, the old, the well, thesick, and everything in-between. Music therapists assist a vast number offields by using music to attain non-musical goals for people in therapeuticsettings. Music therapy is a powerful and non-threatening agent, in whichexceptional outcomes are possible. In music therapy, each client is providedwith support and encouragement in the attainment of new skills and abilities.Music touches individuals in various ways, and because of this participation inmusic therapy provides opportunities for learning, artistry, and expressionthat may be notably different from standard educational/therapeutic measures.Music Therapy is still a fairly newfield; however, it continues to grow and make advancements in the medicalfield.
It is truly amazing when you look at how much the field has accomplishedin the short amount of time it has been around. This semester I have learned alot; from the meaning of music therapy to numerous capacities in which musictherapist work. I want to thank Dr. Wiggins for all of her time and effort sheput into making sure I had the information and help/experience I needed. Iwould also like to thank Mrs.
Mariah Adkins and the Williams Adult Day Centerfor allowing me to work with them. This semester has ignited a fire in me tolearn all I can about this field even outside of the classroom. My research isnot done. I plan to go more in depth and expand this paper as I continue tolearn. ReferencesAlive inside Video file. (n.d.).
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