It’s no secret that music and sound can have a huge effect on how we feel. Listening to heavy metal can make us feel stressed or angry, whereas the sounds of waves or rustling leaves may relax and calm us.
At its core, music provides a structured way of presenting sensory information which makes it an excellent aid for people who struggle with sensory processing.
Some of the main benefits of music therapy include:
- It’s enjoyable
Unlike some forms of treatment for mood disorders and similar conditions, sensory music therapy isn’t invasive and can often be very enjoyable for the patient. The vast majority of people like some form of music, and so using it in therapy sessions and as part of a sensory room can really help them to relax and communicate more effectively.
- It can benefit people with a wide range of sensory conditions
Sensory music therapy is a very versatile type of treatment, and it can be used to help people with a wide range of conditions. Playing a favorite song or ambient music can help to lessen any distress and redirect behaviors.
Sensory music therapy can be used for people with conditions such as Autism and Asperger’s, improving sensory integration and encouraging positive behavioral changes. It can help individuals to regulate the brain processes and improve how they organize their thoughts. This can help to develop how they respond to their environment.
In addition, music therapy can be used to help patients with dementia and other forms of Alzheimer’s Disease. According to Dementia UK, music and sound can access different parts of the brain than language, enabling us to communicate with and calm individuals who may struggle with speech.
Reminiscence music therapy is also a great aid for people with dementia. A study from Sato Ashida of Florida State University, entitled “The Effect of Reminiscence Music Therapy on Changes in Depressive Symptoms in Elderly Persons with Dementia” discovered that 5 days of this treatment resulted in a “significant decrease in the depressive symptoms of patients.” This demonstrates its ability to improve the experience and day-to-day life of residents living within assisted living facilities.
- It’s measurable
A number of case studies found on Network Autism show the effects that music therapy can have on patients, including everything from improved social skills to better focus. The patterns can help people with autism to regulate their emotions and sensory input.
A summary that reviewed various studies into the effectiveness of music therapy also found that it was associated with improved “global and social functioning in schizophrenia and/or serious mental disorders, gait and related activities in Parkinson’s disease, depressive symptoms, and sleep quality.”
- It can be incorporated into other sensory activities
Ambient sounds can help to immerse individuals within a multisensory environment. Noises such waves or a crackling fire, found within our Living Scenery DVD pack, will help to soothe. They will work with our sensory projector to create spectacular visual and auditory effects to de-escalate individuals and encourage communication.
- It can strengthen bonds
Music therapy can be used to communicate and engage with individuals in a way that words cannot. Family members, therapists and carers can engage with the individual through a shared interest, and its ability to improve behaviors can help the person to interact and build relationships.
If you would like to incorporate sound and music into your sensory room or your sensory activities, visit our Sound and Music Therapy section for more information and a range of related products. Alternatively. contact a member of our expert team to learn more.