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What is Music Therapy

 A Brief History

Music Set

Music Therapy has been around longer than we really thought it to be. It has been recorded in Biblical texts of how music was used to soothe Saul whenever he experienced heaviness or "darkness".  It has also been recorded that music and sounds have been used for healing purposes in various cultures and communities. 

 

Time travelling to more modern times, the positive effects of Music were witnessed by medical staff during the World Wars. Hospitals were flooded with patients who were in immense pain and trauma. Community musicians decided to step up and brought their music to the hospitals. They played for patients and soon, medical staff began to notice the effects music had on the patients: improved moods, increased motivation to participate in rehabilitation, greater sense of camaraderie and better pain management, just to name a few. After the wars, more systematic studies on music as a form of therapy were done and in the process, establishing this area of treatment modality: Music Therapy. Music therapy, today, is a specialised area in the music industry where qualified music therapists  support individuals in the areas of medical care , special education, rehabilitation etc. 

For more detailed information, do visit the website of the American Music Therapy Association: https://www.musictherapy.org 

Nordoff-Robbins Creative Music Therapy Approach

Piano Keys

There are many different approaches in Music therapy and each approach is undergirded  with a principles from a particular "force" in  psychology (e.g. Behavioural, Psychoanalytical). There is no right or wrong approach to take. How music is used depends on the approach in which the music therapist resonates with the most.

 

Music therapy at Rejoice Creative Music is heavily influenced by the principles of the humanistic Approach of  "Nordoff-Robbins Creative Music Therapy". This approach is built upon the work by co-founders Dr Clive Robbins ( special educator) and Dr Paul Nordoff (composer)  in the 1960s. A serendipitous meeting had allowed them to explore the use of music in a special education setting, opening new pathways of development for the children then. The work has since extended to populations such as people in stroke rehabilitation and people coping with neurodegenerative disorders.

The Nordoff-Robbins Creative Music Therapy Approach functions on the premise that every individual has an innate musical sensitivity that enables him/her to respond to music, regardless of pathology ( i.e. diagnosis, conditions). It is through the connection and activation of this musical sensitivity that allows individuals to experience growth and well-being which might be otherwise inaccessible. 
 

Find out more about this approach here.