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January 26, 2017

Music Therapy And Rehab Nurses

By Nurse.org Staff Writer     

Music is the universal language. It can set the tone, create an atmosphere, change anyone’s mood, and be a helpful remedy and therapeutic intervention for certain diagnoses and conditions.

According to the American Music Therapy Association, music therapy is “the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music therapy program.” In short, it is used to treat patients of all ages and numerous symptoms in relation to physical pain, emotional and spiritual well-being, and cognitive health.

Studies have shown that music therapy can reduce pain, depression, anxiety, and stress. While music therapy does treat these conditions, it can also be a helpful adjunct therapy for:

  • Grief
  • Chronic Pain
  • Autism
  • Schizophrenia
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Dementia
  • Heart Disease

For example, if you had an all-time favorite song during your teenage years, that song can trigger positive memories and emotions. While music can take the listener back to the past, it can also be helpful in the present by connecting patients more directly with their emotions and the ability to communicate with others.

Related: Dementia Patients; Reaching The Unreachable

How Do You Become A Music Therapist?

Like all therapists, becoming a music therapist requires schooling. A bachelor’s degree in Music Therapy is needed, followed by a master’s degree in Music Therapy. Although it is not required, it may also prudent to become certified as a recreational therapist or a rehabilitation nurse in order to increase your chances of employment in a wide range of facilities.

Music Therapists may be employed in the following milieus:

  • Psychiatric hospitals
  • Mental health facilities
  • Rehabilitation facilities
  • Retirement homes
  • Senior centers
  • Acute care hospitals

How Does Music Therapy Work?

Music Therapists meet regularly with patients in groups or as individuals, using a variety of tools and techniques to engage participants in highly therapeutic interventions. Patients may sing, dance, play instruments, or write music, depending on the physical environment, the goals of therapy, and the condition being treated.

As a nurse, simply being exposed to a group of patients participating in a music therapy session may lift your mood and positively benefit the course of your work day. The power of music can ripple out and uplift everyone in its path.

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