Proposal on the Effects of Music on People With Schizophrenia

Essay by siakajoeUniversity, Bachelor'sB, December 2010

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Music therapy is a psychotherapeutic method that uses musical interaction as a means of communication and expression. The aim of the therapy is to help people with serious mental illness to develop relationships and to address issues they may not be able to using words alone.

Relevance of Music Therapy

Everyday, music serves us faithfully, playing an integral part of our public and private lives. It is vastly used in arenas of national importance (e.g. National anthems) and personal significance (e.g. wedding songs). In many normal applications it supports or transcends spoken word. It therefore cannot be seen as simply a vehicle for the emotions but also as a complex creation of the intellect. Music therapy is found in a wide sphere of places. From medical and psychiatric hospitals to prisons and residential homes, this precious form of therapy may be seen in operation. The range of instruments used is also immense. The therapist may use his or her own instrument which may be a piano or woodwind and a variety of percussion instruments are for use either by the therapist or the client. These include delicate bells and shakers, gongs, drums, cymbals, xylophones, lyre or guitar and are used as appropriate depending on the client.


A proposal will be presented to the Smithsonian Institute Annual Songs of American Heritage Festival Exhibit for the acceptance of music therapy for individuals with chronic schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is a psychotic disorder that affects multiple psychological processes that include: hallucinations, process of thought, delusions, emotion, behavior, concentration, and judgment. These psychological and behavioral processes constitute a variety of impairments in social and occupational functioning. Wing and Brown (1970) suggest that these psychological and behavioral processes predispose people with schizophrenia to social withdrawal, which allows the patient to have a low stimulation environment...