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Music and Your Mentality: Debunking Music Therapy Myths

Welcome to the second blog post in our Music and Your Mentality series. Music therapy is an increasingly popular field, with over 7,000 music therapists in the US. But what exactly is music therapy? In this post, we will be debunking common myths about music therapy.

Myth #1: Music therapy is just listening to music.

In actuality, music therapy aims to engage clients directly with active participation in the music. To achieve physical, cognitive, socioemotional, and behavioral goals, music therapists bring their patients into singing, songwriting, and instrument playing activities. An article by a certified music therapist with The Conversation shows that images are also paired with music to spread tranquility and decrease the need for cancer patients to need anesthesia and pain medication. Meditative practices are also taught along music to calm patients' minds and promote therapeutic practices.

Myth #2: Only musical people can enjoy music therapy.

As music is present everywhere in our lives, it does not take someone who knows how to play music to enjoy music. It is the job of music therapists to select music for their clients to most effectively benefit them. While a hospice patient might need classical music for the calm, lulling rhythm to help even out their ragged breathing, studies show that heavy metal also has health benefits for those who enjoy this genre of music. The services of music therapy look different to each patient.

Myth #3: Music therapy is only for people who are in pain.

Anyone can benefit from music therapy, whether they are in physical pain, mentally ill, or need a break from their hectic lives. Music therapy is not used to solve a specific problem, but rather to use a client's preferences to improve their mental state in any way. The benefits of music therapy are so various that they can be used in conjunction with other therapies or in place of pain medication.

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