Children and Music Therapy
Music therapists are often licensed psychologists who have done further study in music therapy. They are trained in other therapy techniques to use with their patients besides music. Music is one way that they communicate with their patients.
Children are often treated with music therapy. Much like art therapy, the reward is in the journey and creation of work, not the end product necessarily.
The old adage used in cartoons that “music calms the savage beast” may not be that far off. When we are dealing with behavioral issues, it can seem like our child has a beast living within them. It has taken over your precious little one and you are at a loss to stop it.
Music is a very powerful tool. Even for someone who is not experiencing behavioral problems, listening to music can evoke a wide range of emotions. Simple rhythms can relax you. Upbeat fast tunes can make you happy and your heart race. Lower notes can inspire fear or danger. In a few simple notes played on various instruments you can unlock what is going on inside of another person.
This is what trained music therapists have been striving to do with disturbed children, with some success. Behavioral issues can be a result of an emotional trauma, physical disability or mental imbalance of some kind. Getting at the heart of the problem is what music therapy is all about.
With music therapy, a child is not simply listening to music but also participating in creating it. Listening is done and responses noted, but there are other components. Children are exposed to live performances, how to create music, and improvisation. Musical selections are also shown with visual images as a way of guiding behavior patterns.
Music seems to work because it is open to interpretation by anyone and everyone. It is a medium that becomes what the person wants it to be. For children, it doesn’t intimidate them. It can help children feel safe enough to talk about their trauma and begin to heal. Therapists can discover underlying problems causing behavioral issues not related to developmental deficiencies.
Only a trained therapist need engage in music therapy. Through examination of their child patient, they can devise a course of treatment using the appropriate musical intervention to bring about the best result. Children can relearn destructive behaviors and live normal lives.
Music therapy is one way that has been found to deal with children suffering from behavioral problems. Through varying levels of musical learning, families and these children are getting the treatment they need.