The last 18 months have taken a toll on our global community. While we continue to experience both individual and collective moments of shift around to the pandemic – the immediate and lasting benefits of music therapy to support physical and emotional health and well-being remain constant. Here are three reasons to seek the support of a Certified Music Therapist (MTA) in managing the impact of the pandemic for you, or your loved one.
1. Music therapy can help you breathe easier.
Music therapists are trained to use music to promote visualization and relaxation to support deeper and less laboured breathing. Incorporating easy to play wind instruments such as harmonica, kazoo, or recorder can provide a creative and engaging outlet to actively address diaphragmatic control and posture – increasing expiratory pressure. Singing – along with its many cognitive and emotional benefits – promotes breath support and control – and improves quality of life. Read more here. Experts speculate that music therapy will play a key role in the future of survivors of COVID-19 – using all of the above techniques to help them to breathe easier. Read more here.
2. Music therapy can improve mood and motivation.
Research confirms that music eases the symptoms of anxiety and depression by promoting the production of dopamine, serotonin and endorphins in the brain, resulting in a sense of well-being and calm. Music therapy can provide a space for successful and safe emotional release – and within music there can be found both verbal and non-verbal opportunities to explore and express emotions. In addition to helping improve mental health – music therapy provides a creative outlet, an opportunity to expand knowledge and cultural awareness – contributing to a stronger sense of identity and improved self-esteem. Read more here.
3. Music therapy can establish and maintain connections, and improve interpersonal relationships.
Social distancing and isolation have impacted the way we connect and relate to one another. Research confirms that making music with others promotes empathy and boosts the production of oxytocin in the brain. When making music with others, brain structures implicated in communication are activated and strengthened. These combined effects allow us to establish, strengthen, and maintain connection with others – creating relationships bolstered by strong communication, focused listening, and empathy. Dr. David Greenberg – a social neuroscientist, professional musician and researcher, states that “Music connects us to our humanity.” Read more here.
Written by Jesse Dollimont, MTA