It’s Not Just Tunes; It’s Music Therapy

Millennials. One thing this generation can’t live without is their cellular phone, but there is another possession that shares equal importance; it is small, nearly unnoticeable, and sits within the ears of nearly every teenager. Earbuds, or AirPods, depending on how high-tech you are, that are undoubtedly doing one thing: tuning out the stress of the world through music therapy.

Researchers at Stanford University found that listening to music can change brain functioning to the same extent as medication. Music can have an intense effect on both the emotions and the body. Faster music can make you feel more alert and concentrate better. Upbeat music can make you feel more optimistic and positive about life, and a slower tempo can quiet the mind and relax muscles. Music is therapy and a tool for good mental health.

“I use music as a therapy,” sophomore Emory Young said. “Music helps me feel different emotions when I need to be in a better place. It just helps me get through rough times in my life.”

According to the study, listening to music activates the entire brain, creating the potential for people to use music to improve the way they think, behave and feel. Sophomore Olivia Zirger said she listens to different types of music depending on her mood.

“I use music to put me in a better mood or to relax me,” Zirger said. “I listen to RNB when I am mad because it calms me down.”

Music expresses that which can not be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.”

— William Shakespeare

Through the years, musical therapy has been used in hospitals, nursing homes, and therapy programsĀ  to help children, adolescents, adults, and the elderly with mental health needs, developmental and learning disabilities, Alzheimer’s disease and other aging related conditions. It has also helped overcome substance abuse, brain injuries and physical disabilities.

“Music means something different to everyone and it can help everyone for different things,” Young said. “Music Therapy helps people feel better about everything in life.”