Music Therapy

Through White House Recovery

We’ve all been there. Your favorite song comes on the radio, and suddenly everything feels a little less overwhelming. You might smile, nod your head along with the beat, sing along, and experience a feeling of joy. Such is the power of music. Studies have shown that your brain physically responds to music and can even sync up with specific beats and rhythms to achieve a calming effect.

In 2011, Harvard Medical School published an article that took a close look at the deep and complex connection between music and the human body. They reported that songs with energetic beats at higher speeds can enhance your physical strength and endurance when working out, while meditative music can lower your blood pressure and decrease stress levels. Listening to certain kinds of music can cause automatic positive changes throughout your nervous system. The response will depend on your personal preferences. Researchers have found that the volume, tempo, genre, language, and tone of a song all inform what kind of emotional or physical effect it will have on a listener.


What Happens During Music Therapy?

Music has been a part of mental health therapy since the 1800s. The practice spans hundreds of different approaches, from drum circles to group lyric discussions. Only in the last few decades has music therapy become commonly available in rehabilitation centers and treatment programs. No two therapists or programs follow the same formula; each one will tailor music therapy to their participants’ needs and musical interests. Everyone connects to music in their own unique way. You can try different options until you find one that works well for you. 

Below are a few examples of what you might expect during a group or one-on-one session. 

  • Listening to songs, sometimes including repetitive listening
  • Breaking down lyric meanings and discussing your emotional reactions
  • Adding to existing music with an instrument or by writing lyrics
  • Receptive listening, including using guided imagery to reach a meditative state
  • Performing music
  • Learning to play, sing, or write music

 

Known Health Benefits of Music Therapy 

Below are a few of the many benefits that can arise from using music therapy to improve your psychological and physical health. Music therapy can:

  • Be used to achieve mild pain relief
  • Improve mood and decrease the symptoms of various mental conditions like anxiety and depression
  • Assist with movement in physical rehabilitation 
  • Promote calm and help with sleep disorders like insomnia 
  • Decrease muscle tension, blood pressure, and stress 
  • Provide an excellent emotional focal point and improves emotional control 

One significant advantage of using music for therapy is the fact that almost anyone, anywhere in the world, can access it without too much difficulty. Music can be sung, strummed, tapped out on a dinner table, or streamed live over the internet. There is an almost limitless supply of music, and that makes it an excellent resource. Think of music as a free emotional pick-me-up. 

 

Music and Mental Health 

There is a direct connection between hearing music and our automatic emotional responses. According to research conducted by the Stanford University School of Medicine, people who listen to certain music see more vivid colors and experience a deeper connection to the moment, which makes it ideal for practicing mindfulness techniques and meditation. The British Academy of Sound Therapy conducted a study to determine how music could affect a listener, and found that it encouraged deeper breathing, relaxation, and positive emotions. 

Does Music Therapy Work for People Who Cannot Sing or Play? 

The fantastic thing about music therapy is you do not need to have any previous experience to benefit from using it. Music therapy can provide beneficial results to you whether you have been playing and singing your entire life or only listen to a handful of artists. Most music therapy occurs in a group setting and can involve listening to music, creating lyrics, or using guided imagery and mindfulness techniques while listening to calming music. None of these require any talent at singing or playing. You can also enjoy the benefits of group sessions without actively participating if you would prefer to observe instead. 

 

What You Can Expect from Music Therapy  

Music therapy is entirely optional. You can choose to actively participate, observe, or not use this service at all. Our staff has experience teaching musical instruments, and we offer a music studio space available for lessons and casual playing. This setup will make it possible for you to learn about and enjoy all aspects of the music creation process. No single type of music is better than any other for therapy, allowing us to use your personal musical interests to guide your sessions. Some things you can expect from music therapy at White House Recovery and Detox include:

  • Instrument lessons
  • Creating song lyrics and music
  • Recording music
  • Receptive listening
  • Music discussion

We are here for you

Music speaks to the soul. It can make us cry, smile, or laugh with a simple melody and a few lyrics. Humans have always had a deep connection with music, and it has become a valuable tool for healing from physical, mental, and emotional trauma. At White House Recovery and Detox, we have set up a full studio where you can learn to enjoy the art of making music. Our staff has experience teaching popular instruments; you can bring your own or use the ones we have on the premises. Discover this healthy emotional outlet under the guidance of our care team. We will help you explore your connection to music.