Health Guide to Music Therapy

Music therapy can be used to provide therapy to a patient based on their physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs. Music therapy involves singing, creating, listening to, and moving to music. One, or a variety, of these activities may be included in the treatment plan. Read our Health Guide to Music Therapy below for free resources and how music therapy is used to treat a variety of disorders.

Free Insurance Comparison

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Natasha McLachlan is a writer who currently lives in Southern California. She is an alumna of California College of the Arts, where she obtained her B.A. in Writing and Literature. Her current work revolves around insurance guides and informational articles. She truly enjoys helping others learn more about everyday, practical matters through her work.

Full Bio →

Written by

Laura Walker graduated college with a BS in Criminal Justice with a minor in Political Science. She married her husband and began working in the family insurance business in 2005. She became a licensed agent and wrote P&C business focusing on personal lines insurance for 10 years. Laura serviced existing business and wrote new business. She now uses her insurance background to help educate...

Full Bio →

Reviewed by Laura Walker
Former Licensed Agent

UPDATED: Nov 14, 2020

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right coverage choices.

Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We are not affiliated with any one insurance company and cannot guarantee quotes from any single insurance company.

Our insurance industry partnerships don’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own. To compare quotes from many different insurance companies please enter your ZIP code above to use the free quote tool. The more quotes you compare, the more chances to save.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by insurance experts.

We live in a world in which music is a part of our lives. Music can help people to speak when they cannot find the right words. It is a great way to express yourself and can be the crucial foundation for understanding emotions as well as developmental and behavioral disabilities.

Today, many therapists and doctors who deal with disabilities are relying on music therapy to aid in understanding their patients’ special conditions and to help them to lead more fulfilled lives. Understanding music therapy and the conditions it can benefit can help you to decide whether or not it is right for you or someone you love.

What is Music Therapy?

If you have heard the term music therapy before, you may be wondering what it is. Music therapy is, by definition:

“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.”

This means that music will be used to provide therapy to a patient based on their physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs. Each patient will be assessed to see what their strengths are and what their needs may be.

Music therapy involves singing, creating, listening to, and moving to music. One, or a variety, of these activities may be included in the treatment plan. Music therapy is a treatment that does not involve the use of medications, although medication may still be a part of a larger treatment plan.

Resources:

Compare The Best Insurance Quotes In The Country

Compare quotes from the top insurance companies and save!

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Conditions That Respond to Music Therapy

Autism

Music therapy is often beneficial for children and adults who are diagnosed with autism. Music therapy is a great way to build skills, lower anxiety, and develop new ways of communicating. It can also help to improve social skills, sensory issues, behavioral aspects, motor skills, and self-reliance or self-determination.

Because people who are autistic seem to be responsive to music, music therapy is highly recommended because it can be a reinforcer to achieve desired responses.

Dementia

It has been scientifically shown that music therapy is beneficial for dementia and Alzheimer’s patients, as it can stimulate parts of the brain that may not function otherwise. It enhances the memory of the patient and can help them to remember parts of their life attributed to the music they are hearing.

For a marine, hearing the USMC Hymn can help them to remember serving their country and how proud they were to do so. For older generations, hearing classical music, jazz, or even swing can trigger memories of being young and going to the dance hall on a Friday night. Just by listening to some tunes, patients have better processing speed and improved perceptions about the quality of their life.

Compare The Best Insurance Quotes In The Country

Compare quotes from the top insurance companies and save!

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Depression

Many people who suffer from depression may find that medication does not make much of a difference for them. Some cannot even explain how they feel, but where those words fail, music can speak.

Listening to music can allow a patient to express themselves through a song that may relate to what they are feeling. Sometimes, listening to lyrics by your favorite band can hit home in a way nothing else can. Listening to music that is upbeat with a positive message can pull a depressed patient out of a slump and give them an entirely new outlook on life. Music therapy reduces depressive symptoms, as well as anxiety, and can help the patient to lead a more purposeful life.

Infant Development

Many people feel that playing music for their unborn baby can work to increase his or her intelligence. This is why so many expecting mothers are part of the “Mozart Effect.” Playing music to babies, both unborn and born, can help improve their understanding of rhythm and speech as they get older. Music therapy is also beneficial for babies, as it can help improve sleep patterns, increase their appetite, and decrease stress levels. Music therapy has many positive effects on the baby’s brain development.

Sleep Quality

Sleep disorders are fairly common. There is nothing that beats getting a good night’s sleep, but sometimes, shutting your brain off to do so can be quite difficult, especially if you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea or insomnia.

Listening to music before trying to sleep can significantly improve the sleep quality of patients who are suffering from acute, chronic disorders. One night of doing so may not provide the benefits desired for those with a chronic disorder, but over time, the benefits accumulate and will provide relief.

Compare The Best Insurance Quotes In The Country

Compare quotes from the top insurance companies and save!

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Safety

Music therapy can help people to become safer and more aware of what is going on around them, as it awakens the brain and improves cognitive functioning and motor skills. People who spend time listening to music will be able to react to situations faster and will also be able to think more quickly on their feet.

Resources:

Music Therapy for Everyone

In many cases, it makes sense to try a non-medical treatment option. Music therapy is something that can work for anyone of any age, no matter what you may be suffering from. Many people already rely on music, whether they realize it or not, and because music is linked to mood and mindset, it can be used to manage many conditions in infants through seniors.

Infant Development

Infants, as previously mentioned, seem to respond very well to music. It can calm them when they are fussy, and it can work to help change their heart rate if they are especially upset. Many mothers find that music works well to relax their baby and help him or her to sleep longer. It can also improve the quality of the baby’s sleep. Soft classical music is one of the best things your baby can listen to early on in their life, and it can improve the way their brains work, making baby smarter as well.

Compare The Best Insurance Quotes In The Country

Compare quotes from the top insurance companies and save!

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Physical Benefits

There are many physical benefits associated with music therapy. For those suffering from pain that medicine cannot treat, music can be a life-changer. Music can work to reduce pain and lower stress levels. It can lessen anxiety and improve respiration, as well as lower blood pressure, improve cardiac output, reduce heart rate, and relax muscle tension. It can help patients to focus on something other than their physical symptoms.

Mental Benefits

Music therapy can provide patients with many mental benefits. As previously mentioned, it can reduce feelings of anxiety and depression, which are two of the main issues people today deal with. It can help to improve memory, and it can help people to better communicate with others. Music can improve someone’s sense of identity and give help to those who just need an outlet to express themselves without having to use their own words.

Sleep Benefits

Music is a great way for people who have trouble sleeping to get the shut-eye that they need every night. If you suffer from insomnia, listening to music before you go to bed can help to get your brain ready for sleep and slow down racing thoughts. One night of listening to music may only help minimally, but over time, the effects will start to build up and you may be able to sleep better for a longer period. It is advised to listen to soft and calming music before bed.

Resources:

Paying for Music Therapy

Music therapy is something that insurance companies may cover if it is prescribed or recommended by a doctor. It must be considered to be reasonable and necessary as a means of treatment for an illness or injury, and there must be a defined goal and treatment plan that focuses on improvement.

In some states, Medicaid may cover treatment. More private insurance companies are starting to cover it as well. If you feel that you need music therapy and your insurance will not cover it for some reason, you may be forced to pay for it out of pocket.

Resources:

Additional Resources

Are you still looking for more information? The World Federation of Music Therapy is an excellent resource. You can visit their Education center online to access a wealth of information on the subject. If you would like to learn more about music, memory, and emotion, visit Music & Memory’s page on Music and the brain.

Related Links

Free Insurance Comparison

Compare quotes from the top insurance companies and save!

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption