After great practice, Josh Clark learned to spell his last name. This may not seem like a grand accomplishment, but for Josh, it is. Josh has down syndrome. He attends weekly music therapy sessions and his parents are seeing great progress. Mother said, “Within a week, he learned how to spell ‘Clark’. Without music therapy, it would have taken several weeks or several months. So how does music help Josh to learn at a faster rate than without music? Josh’s music therapist knew that Josh was accustomed with the song “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star,” so she used that to help him learn. Josh listened to her sing each letter of his last name to the familiar tune. His mom thinks, “Music therapy helps him to focus. He loves it. He’s always loved
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Obviously, the music therapists need to be trained and certified to help in a medical field. They learn what techniques and activities are best for the different types of clients they work with. After assessing the strengths and needs of each client, the qualified music therapist provides the indicated treatment including creating, singing, moving to, and/or listening to music (AMTA 2014). A person does not need to be involved in a music therapy program to see the impact of music on people. Many people turn to music to help them through difficult times. Songs show people that other people understand what they are going through. Music also allows people to escape the world and to relax. Music is used for religious purposes. Music is present in everyday life for all cultures, which is what makes music the perfect form of therapy. Music Therapy is the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music therapy program (AMTA 2014).
There is little know about why music therapy works as well as it does. However, “it is not new knowledge in the world of neurochemistry that the brain has a fundamentally rhythmic nature” (Reiser 2006). For whatever reason, the brain responds to rhythm and studies have shown it to be truly helpful to patients of many types. “Music is found to be therapeutic and