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What is Music Therapy?

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When you ask the question, "What is music therapy?" you're bound to get a number of answers. Many of these answers vary depending on the experience of the person who you are asking. From patients to therapists, each answer may be different, but they all reveal the power of music therapy to help others. Here are some of the ways, "What is music therapy?" can be answered.

If you were to ask a patient, "What is music therapy?" you might hear that it is something they are using to help overcome a number of problems. From psychological to physical, music therapy can help soothe the nerves of a patient and make them more receptive to therapeutic suggestions and advice. They might describe a typical session as including themselves, a therapist and a CD player or mp3 player. In this session, they might listen to music in the background or they might be encouraged to bring their own music to share. In listening to the music, they might feel more relaxed and able to share their feelings through the lyrics or the tone of the songs themselves.

Other patients might answer "What is music therapy?" by talking about writing lyrics or dancing to the music in their therapist's office. Each client and each goal is going to yield a different form of the music therapy and practice. While one patient might simply like soothing music in the background as they talk – others might like angry music to stir up the feelings of anger they want to work through.

Those who are not in therapy might think that the answer to "What is music therapy?" is actually something they've learned on their own. When they are upset or stressed, they might turn on a favorite song to help them work through these feelings. Or if they are having a hard workout, they might turn on faster paced music to help them get through the tough parts. If you were having a hard time in your relationship, you might listen to the music from your wedding to help you recall the loving feelings you have about your spouse. It's all music therapy.

For therapists who get asked, "What is music therapy?" a lot, they might answer that it is a tool that can be used to help clients reveal more of themselves in a session or that it is a way that a therapist and a patient can communicate without talking. In playing a certain song, for example, a patient can show the therapist which lyrics feel like they are feeling right then and then the therapist can work with this information.


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