Humans are one of the few beings on Earth that respond to musical stimulation. It moves us, gets us singing and dancing and makes us happy. It can also promote healthy aging and keep seniors mentally and socially engaged.
What is Music Therapy?
It’s a therapeutic approach that applies music to improve the physical, emotional, cognitive and social well-being of an individual or group. Music therapists do more than play instruments and sing songs. They’re specifically trained to utilize musical techniques to address gross motor skills, behavioral issues, cognitive impairments and emotional stressors.
There are four types of music therapy:
1. Receptive: This approach includes the use of songs and sing-alongs. Participants will often draw on their personal history and memories as they sing their favorite songs.
2. Recreative: This is like a sing-along, but seniors are encouraged to add to the music. That promotes mental agility and communal engagement.
3. Improvisational: Participants use their imagination to express what an object or feeling would “sound” like to direct their attention and energy.
4. Compositional: This technique involves writing music, creating songs and playing instruments. It’s based on participants’ life experiences to engage their memory.
How Music Promotes Mental Wellness
Think about the last time you heard your favorite song or new music that you enjoyed. Did it boost your mood? Maybe you felt a sense of mental clarity or motivation you previously struggled to find.
Music is one of the few forms of stimulation that works both hemispheres of your brain, so you get a unique mental workout when you listen to a melody. Participating in musical activities supports cognitive function, memorization and socialization.
Listening to music has also been proven to reduce anxiety and depression. And playing instruments or singing in a group setting is an excellent way to create a sense of community and reduce the risk of isolation.
Music Therapy and Physical Health
Playing music, even clapping along to a rhythm, promotes physical wellness. Learning how to play an instrument improves motor skills and can encourage physical recovery in those who’ve suffered a stroke or other traumatic brain injury.
Music has also been known to lower stress, blood pressure, heart rate and even reduce the effects of chronic pain. Hearing music can create a sense of calm, which relaxes the body and improves sleep habits. Conversely, upbeat music boosts energy, which improves activity levels and promotes physical fitness.
The dedicated staff at SavaSeniorCare are committed to providing a comprehensive care plan with social engagement and entertaining activities. Contact us online or call 800-628-7009 for service information.