Music is widely used as a therapeutic tool for hearing impaired populations,

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 autistic children, and people with mental and physical disabilities. Solfeo promotes relaxation and lessens anxiety in patients, as well as enhancing a patient’s verbal communication. Music therapy can touch a patient’s emotional state quickly, and help them begin to freely verbalize and connect to their psychological problems. According to the American Music Therapy Association, patients who engage in music therapy have a shorter inpatient length of stay, and respond to the intervention plan more efficiently.

Music Therapy for Drug Rehabilitation

Many alcohol and drug rehabilitation programs are now using music as a form of therapy. Music can affect an individual’s respiratory rate, help the person relax, and decrease anxiety levels. Music has even been reported to ease pain in individuals.

Licensed Music Therapists have attained a bachelor’s degree in music therapy; most hold master’s degrees and above. They provide emotional, social, health, communication and cognitive skills assessments when working with patients individually or in groups. The Music Therapist will then develop evaluative and developmental plans using music performance, music listening, improvisation, writing, and lyric analysis.

How Music Helps

Music and music therapy affects the patient that is struggling with the strong addictions of alcohol and drugs by helping them develop better coping strategies. Music will help the addict better understand how to express feelings. When the addict has issues with self-confidence the therapy channels them into a relaxed state where positive reinforcements encourage feelings of security instead of anxiety. 

Music is sensory stimulation, and as music is predictable and familiar, the addict associates security with the music. That secure feeling can lead the addict to begin to develop coping mechanisms to prevent crisis situations from occurring. Music therapy can help alcohol and drug addicts in both social and emotional functioning:

•Reduces muscle tension, anxiety and nervousness
•Promotes self-awareness and confidence
•Improves a person’s self image and increases verbal skills
•Soothes the patient and helps them get in touch with feelings and emotions
•Enhances interpersonal relationships with others

A study at Stanford University concluded that the strong beat of music will stimulate the brain. This causes the brainwaves to begin to resonate in the same fast or slow time with the music rhythm. Slow brainwaves equate to a hypnotic state, while faster brainwaves make the person more alert and stimulate concentration. This may also explain why many students find they study better with music as it enhances their focus and concentration.

Overcoming Addictions

People become addicted to substances as a way to cope with life’s stressors. They feel a sense of relief from pressures when indulging in this addictive behavior. Music works the same way. Music can resonate with the person listening to it and transport them to a place of security. The individual begins to learn how to face their feelings and thoughts, and feel comfortable expressing who they are, often through composing music or writing musical lyrics.


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