Receptive Music Therapy

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In the 1800s Car Wernicke discovered that “language is what separates man from beast. Language resides on the left side of the brain, therefore the left side of the brain is what makes us human” (Pink). The belief that the left side of the brain was superior to the right lasted until 1979; when new research proved the early scientists wrong. It was proven that “the left hemisphere analyzes the details and converges on a single answer” (Pink) while the right hemisphere “interprets emotions and nonverbal expression” (Pink). This fascinating research determined that the left side of the brain focuses on thinking inside the box and the right side of the brain focuses on thinking outside of it. The right side of the brain plays an equal part in …show more content…
The main way arts is used for people under these circumstances is through music therapy. This form of therapy uses therapeutic musical activities to gain a desired outcome in patients. It is effective because “every individual regardless of any disability or illness, responds to music in a unique way” (What is Music Therapy?). These responses could be emotional, physical, or mental. During music therapy, therapists work to improve a patient’s overall quality of life in a non-invasive and non-threatening way. This is done through receptive or active music therapy. Receptive music therapy is based on listening to music. This style of music therapy is most commonly used for emotional regulation. When using this technique it is best to use the patient’s preferred style of music. This is because the patient already has a certain relationship with the music. Whether it is a positive and comfortable connection or a negative and vulnerable connection, the music will be associated with memories, emotions, and images. This insight will show how one is mentally feeling and may reach experiences that are hard to deal with verbally. It is beneficial for the patient to express emotions that are too difficult to deal with alone because it allows them to relieve their stress and begin a mental recovery. It is, also, extremely valuable for friends and family to understand what the patient is …show more content…
It is usually used for children who are nonverbal. Active music therapy involves playing musical instruments, singing precomposed songs, and composing music to explore how sound works. Through improvisation and the use of instruments, the patient’s emotional state will naturally be expressed. The therapist will acknowledge this emotion and support it with their own music. Using music therapy will give patients a constructive way to heal and express their emotions without directly stating it. This is beneficial for the patient, doctors, and parents to understand how they are being affected by treatment for an illness or disability. Music therapy is, also, a way to normalize the potentially traumatic experience of being in the hospital. Therapists go into hospital rooms with guitars and drums that patients are attracted to. This way it looks like a fun experience and is not something they are fearful of. These children may be spending days or weeks in the hospital having treatments and tests done; so having a fun and constructive musical jam session is very helpful for their spirits and motivates them to keep fighting for their health. This therapy session turns into something patients look forward to every week and helps to keep them positive during grueling

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