We know that most of us have experienced a vast array of emotions while listening to music; sometimes we burst with happiness when we play a happy song, other times we cry because a certain song allows us to feel our emotions and helps us deal with them better. If you’re anything like us, (we play music 24/7… literally. Don’t ask.) it’s likely that certain music supported you through both difficult and joyful times.

A few months ago we found out about musical therapy and have not stopped talking about it since. While it hasn’t reached the shores of our beloved land in its full potential yet, we can’t wait to experience it ourselves! If you haven’t heard of musical therapy, don’t leave yet; today we will be discussing what MT is, how it’s practiced and the benefits it has!

What is Musical Therapy?

Musical Therapy (or Music Therapy) is a practice involving, you guessed it, music. Professionals in this field rely on their knowledge of therapy (most of them are certified therapists) and music, and with it, use music to alleviate patients of their heavy burden. It is usually practiced with people who have some difficulties, be it mental illnesses or physical, but that by no means excludes healthy people from taking part in a session. Before starting with musical therapy, the patient is scheduled to have a therapy appointment with a licensed professional who decides what sort of treatment the patient will have. Interestingly, you, as a patient, can participate in musical therapy sessions both individually or by joining a group.

How does it work?

After a patient gets approval, they decide what fits them better: Practicing musical therapy one on one with a professional musical therapist, or with a group of people. After that decision is made, the treatment starts.

Having taken notes about all their patients, the licensed musical therapist begins the session by playing an instrument and allowing their patients to relax. The next step depends on the patients. They can either choose to sing out their emotions, compose a song about their feelings, or just jam with the licensed therapist.

How can you become a musical therapist?

Many musical therapists have a background in psychology, therapy, and music. In order to start working as a musical therapist, apart from knowing music theory, you will have to know how to play guitar, a piano, and a percussion instrument. Imagine that? Usually, musical therapists have to go through a lot, and we mean, a lot of clinical and psychology courses, alongside statistics (who would have said…) courses that help them with their research. The reason for this is simple: you need to know how to conduct proper research on your patient and you have to know the best ways you can help them.

 As we already mentioned, the way in which these professionals work wholly depends on their patients: some people will want to communicate verbally with them, some won’t, but the goal is always to help your patients as much as you can.

What are the benefits?

The list of benefits musical therapy gives you is a pretty long one, as it allows you to work on yourself over time. Mainly, it relieves you of stress, and in today’s day and age, what’s better than that?!

Until we have musical therapy here in Finland, we will rely on our traditional musical therapy: Heavy metal music!

By Elea