As a certified music therapist I was disturbed by Harold C. Music therapy involves the application of music by a trained professional in order to promote positive emotional, physical, and mental change on the part of a client. Music therapists use a variety of methods, such as improvisation, active listening, singing, and group music making to accomplish this. The client's needs, musical tastes, and desires are taken into account. Musical instruments are being adapted so that persons with even extreme physical disabilities can feel the satisfaction of making music. Patients can choose music to put on personalized tapes that keep them company, soothe, and energize them. Schonberg's reference to the playing of music in the operating room as music therapy is incorrect. The purpose, according to his description, is the relaxation of the surgical team, not the treatment of the patient. The music in this case is therapeutic, but is not therapy.
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Relaxing, Touching the Memory, Music Helps With the Final Transition
Scientific research has shown that music helps fight depression , lower blood pressure and reduce pain. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts called Sound Health: Music and the Mind , to expand on the links between music and mental health. It explores how listening to, performing or creating music involves brain circuitry that can be harnessed to improve health and well-being. Braunstein, 63, has experienced the benefits of music for his own mental health and set out to bring them to others by founding orchestras in which the performers are all people affected by mental illness. Upon graduating from the Juilliard School in his early 20s, he entered a summer program at the Salzburg Mozarteum in Austria, and in became the first American to win the prestigious Karajan International Conducting Competition in Berlin. His career took off.
When Emily Caudill learned she had an ovarian germ cell tumor at the age of 25, she did not want to undergo chemotherapy. An accomplished bluegrass fiddler , she knew that hearing loss is a common side effect of some chemicals — so common that drugs harmful to the ear have acquired an adjective: they are ototoxic. Because Ms. Eight months later, a recurrence led to a bone-marrow transplant. She qualified for not always effective hearing aids which, along with a mild stroke induced by treatment, meant that she had to reconceptualize her life. Though she would have to relinquish a performance career, Ms. Caudill found that she could feel the vibrations of the violin in her chin and on her neck. In high school, she had read about the Nordoff-Robbins approach to music therapy , which provides techniques for disabled people to become active participants.
With guitars strapped to their backs, a flute or tambourine and a songbook jammed in their backpacks, they play music for more than patients, in housing projects, in nursing homes and even in a lavish waterfront home. The time for chemotherapy and radiation is over. The music begins: a song to hold death at bay, a song to embrace death, or to praise God. A Vietnam veteran asks for a song in Vietnamese. One man asked only for songs with death in the lyrics, to force his family to talk to him about the future. He was ready to talk about it.