Music therapy is the prescribed use of music and musical interventions in order to restore, maintain, and improve emotional, physical, physiological, and spiritual health and well-being. So one finds the selections under the New Age/Relaxation section of the record store about as relaxing as water torture? Just because one's taste runs more to Sousa than to soothing doesn't mean one can't reap all these relaxation benefits music is supposed to have.
Music therapy works primarily by changing moods, which alters brain chemistry.
This can have many effects--making concentration easier, easing anxiety and fostering patience. "Music," as the old saying goes, "has charms to soothe the savage beast." It can improve a person's psychological, cognitive, and social functioning--especially when it has familiar lyrics that evoke pleasant memories and a strong , repetitive beat that makes it easy to follow along. "Rhythm is there in the cycles of the seasons, in the migrations of the birds and animals, in the fruiting and withering of plants, and in the birth, maturation, and death of ourselves."--Mickey
Hart of Grateful Dead. "Music Therapy can make the difference between withdrawal and awareness, between isolation and interaction, between chronic pain and comfort, between demoralization and dignity."--Barbara Crowe. "It lifts us from our frozen mental habits and makes our minds move in ways they ordinarily cannot...when the sound stops, we fall back into our mental wheelchairs."--
Ok, we heard what musicians had to say about music, but what about the scientic aspect?
Music therapy benefits many types of people, such as the mentally ill, abused, terminally ill, developmental learning disabled, and academic learning disabled. The goals of music therapy include improving self-esteem, improving social interactions with peers, increasing participation, developing coping skills, reducing stress anxiety, creating a non-abusive lifestyle, decreasing fear, decreasing pain, and behavior management,