World Music Day, also known as Make Music Day, is an occasion to celebrate music globally. It traces its origins to the Fête de la Musique, which was launched in France in 1982. Every year, Make Music Day is celebrated on June 21 (the summer solstice) in over 750 cities in 120 countries, and its popularity is increasing throughout the United States. Musicians of all ages, amateurs and professionals, participate by performing in their cities’ public places.
Kofi Annan, former Secretary-General of the United Nations, has stated that music penetrates almost every part of an individual’s life, from leisure and entertainment to education and worship. The nonverbal, multicultural and expressive qualities of music have led it to being used for healing purposes. As per the American Music Therapy Association, music therapy is a scientific and evidence-based approach which taps into music’s therapeutic qualities to respond to individuals’ physical, emotional, cognitive and social requirements.
Several past studies show that music therapy is an effective tool in altering mood and in the treatment of mental health conditions, such as depression, stress, psychosis and schizophrenia. Its beneficial effects include improvement in self-regard, decrease in anxiety, enhancement in motivation levels and improvement in mental stability. Music produces a soothing effect enabling individuals to relax and improve their thinking.
4 main interventions involved with music therapy
Music therapists are individuals with specialized skill who incorporate the healing properties of music into a treatment program to help patients improve their quality of life. They offer their services to inpatient, residential or outpatient institutions, provide private consultations and frequently work in partnership with other mental health specialists. Patients can be of any age and from any background, and they do not need to have prior musical skills to take part in the therapy. Music therapy uses a personalized approach for treatment, based on an individual’s musical inclinations, aims, capabilities and mental health diagnosis. Individuals can be either active or receptive participants.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), four main interventions are involved with music therapy:
- Lyric discussion and analysis: Lyric discussion and analysis is a unique and less intimidating way to deal with emotions, feelings and experiences. Individuals are encouraged to describe their understanding of the lyrics, suggest substitute lyrics and identify concrete themes that can find application in challenges faced by them and the treatment thereof. Lyric analysis gives individuals an opportunity to recognize and associate song lyrics with their experiences.
- Musical improvisation: Improvisation is the process of creating music spontaneously as a manifestation of individuals’ current frame of mind. By using musical instruments or vocal sound, it enables individuals to freely express, by way of music, what they are unable to do in words. When improvisation takes place in a group setting, it promotes relationship building, community spirit and socialization through positive interactions.
- Active music listening: Music’s cadenced and repetitive characteristics induce a sense of calm, which can reduce impulsive behavior. It is frequently used to correspond with or change an individual’s mood. Live or recorded music enables the validation of feelings and experiences. It is also a tool for diverting attention from pain and crisis, thereby inducing relaxation.
- Original songwriting: Songwriting enables the expression of feelings and emotions in a positive and fulfilling manner. Creating original lyrics is a reflection of personal thoughts and experiences. Individuals can also determine the instruments and sounds which can completely justify the lyric’s underlying sentiments. Songwriting fosters creativeness and facilitates the expression of healthy emotions, which can help in developing self-esteem and a sense of pride.
Music therapy supplements conventional mental health interventions
It is not advisable to use music therapy as the primary treatment option for chronic psychiatric disorders. If individuals are not keen to take part in music therapy, it is recommended not to use this approach since it may lead to stress or agitation. Experiential or supplementary techniques such as this should be undertaken only after proper medical evaluation and consultation. A specialized professional can help in determining the most effective treatment to suit an individual’s needs and health condition.
Sovereign Health of San Clemente, California offers evidence-based treatment to individuals with mental illnesses. Our holistic treatment options and continuous recovery management provide support to patients in overcoming mental illnesses. To find out more about Sovereign Health’s residential mental health facilities, please call us at our 24/7 helpline number or chat online with experts.