Music therapists use various types of music to positively impact students’ and patients’ cognitive, physical, emotional and social skills, helping them realize their potential in society. Activities and techniques include improvisation, rhythm, songwriting, songs, chants, instrumental activities, live music and recorded music.
Benefits of Music Therapy
- Musical processing occurs using both hemispheres of the brain.
- Music’s structure provides a safe container for ideas and feelings and helps to establish roles and expectations of response.
- Music promotes relationships and connections at a pre-verbal level.
- Music can be a pleasurable and attention-getting stimulus for most individuals.
- Music provides opportunities for achievement and mastery by creating a success-oriented environment.
- Music acts as a natural aid to learning and memory.
- Music can promote relaxation.
- Music’s fluidity mirrors the fluidity of human emotional relationships, sometimes acting as a catalyst for expression.
Music Therapy Activities/Events
Music therapy participants have the opportunity to be part of four different choirs, which perform at Matheny and at a number of venues throughout the community and the state. Other music therapy activities include an annual talent show and songwriting concert.
The music therapy program also makes it possible for patients to attend outside concerts and theatre presentations as well as musical entertainment that performs at Matheny. During evenings and weekends, music therapy staff members are always available and on-duty, along with recreation therapists, to provide planned programs for residential patients.
Music Therapy at Matheny
- Participation in talent shows and songwriting concerts.
- Performing in one of four choirs – both at Matheny and in the community.
- Attendance at musical events – at Matheny and at various concert or entertainment venues.