Last updated on August 11th, 2023.
Music therapy became a thing after World War II. Music therapy aims to help a patient learn self-expression, reduce stress, and increase personal growth. When one is seated in front of their computer watching or participating with their music therapists, they tend to radiate so much joy. At that moment, nothing else matters if there’s one good thing that the pandemic has helped us create, virtual music therapy.
Virtual music therapy came along since there was a need to isolate. Even though it came from a bad situation, it has brought along so many benefits. Most patients can connect more with their families as virtual music is something you can watch with others, helping them achieve its benefits. Music therapy in the past was mostly for kids and older adults, but recently the wider population has witnessed how healing music can be, and they’re joining in.
Music is healing. It can affect one’s emotions, behaviors, development, and cognition. Music can also go as far as bring you pleasure and relaxation. You don’t have to be a musician to enjoy music. That’s why there exists music therapy that serves the population at large. Music can trigger happiness, sadness, calmness, or even thoughtfulness, depending on the type of music one’s listening to.
What is virtual music therapy?
Virtual music therapy involves therapy sessions with a certified music therapist. The session involves singing, movement, music-making, and interventions whose primary focus is providing an organized sensory interaction. Virtual music therapy means that the therapist and client are connecting in real-time, and the therapist can adjust the music to match the patient’s needs every day. It is the same as face-to-face music therapy, except it is done over the computer or phone, allowing the client to access their therapy session without getting out of their home or wherever they’re comfortable.
Virtual music therapy can be accessible to anyone no matter where they are, as long they have an internet connection. Since it isn’t necessary to have musical instruments at home to enjoy the class, it gives people the opportunity to get the treatment without any
What music is used in virtual music therapy?
Any music can be used in music therapy. What is most necessary is the message and how the client feels. Of course, the music you play for children will vary from those of adults because of the music’s complexity. According to a UK study, the most effective types of music in music therapy include Queen’s We Will Rock You, Marley’s Three Little Birds, and Floyd’s Another Brick in the Wall.
The variety of these songs shows how you can choose whichever songs resonate with your clients as long as they contain positive messages. Good music will always boost a person’s mood, no matter the genre. All forms of music have therapeutic effects and various neurological impacts. For example, classical music can result in comfort and relaxation, while rock music may lead to discomfort in some people.
(Do you want to know what positive effects music has on the brain. Then, follow the link and give the article a read.)
How much does virtual music therapy cost?
It is hard to specify the amount of money you’ll have to pay for a virtual music therapy class. Most classes vary from one institution to the next. But all you’ll need to know is that the price between virtual and physical music therapy doesn’t vary most times. You’ll still pay the same amount of money for either classes.
10 Benefits of Virtual Music Therapy!
Virtual music therapy has many benefits for your mental, physical, and emotional health.
1. Decreases anxiety
Research suggests that music therapy decreases anxiety even in people undergoing intensive care units, cancer, and other terminal illnesses. According to some researchers, music can reduce blood pressure and heartbeat, directly impacting how stressed a person feels. Most people who attend music therapy report feeling better after the sessions. This puts music therapy at the top of methods of reducing anxiety symptoms easily. Music can also reduce the levels in which the body produces stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline, which easily reduce anxiety symptoms.
2. It may lower levels of depression
Most studies prove that music therapy done alongside other forms of therapy like talking therapy helps reduce the symptoms of depression more than one type of therapy on its own. Listening to music can also trigger dopamine and endorphins released. Both of these hormones are “feel good hormones,” which can induce happy moods and relieve pain. Even though it won’t cure depression, it at least helps improve short-term symptoms of depression.
3. Reduces pain
When people undergo a lot of pain either due to chronic illnesses or terminal illnesses, the amount of pain meds one takes doesn’t reduce pain. Pain at times can be unmanageable and unbearable. Songwriting, listening to music, and singing helps relieve pain in a lot of patients. When music makes one relax, it helps reduce anxiety and pain too. According to cognitive therapy, music brings about new thoughts and feelings, which brings about relaxation and pain reduction.
4. Improves sleep quality
Insomnia can be very disturbing and easily affect one’s mental, emotional, and physical health. But music therapy can help counteract insomnia. When one listens to music, it increases the levels of endorphins, promotes changes in serotonin, and decreases sympathetic activity. Music reduces arousal levels, which allows your brain to relax and fall into slumber. Most of the time, the brain has multiple thoughts running through it during every hour of the day, and music helps calm that down, including the whole body, to allow rest and sleep. Music therapy also helps sedate children undergoing EEG testing.
5. It helps kids with autism
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is characterized by difficulty interacting socially, communicating, and unusual repetitive behaviors. People with ASD respond well to music because they usually show a lot of interest when it comes to music. Most of the time, music therapists use songs to teach them verbal and non-verbal communication skills. These skills that they’re taught help them establish normal development processes. Music works the best for children with this condition because people who have autism engage more in music than any other social skill that there is to learn.
6. Accessibility of time and place
Even with all the benefits that music therapy offers, virtual music therapy adds a cherry on top, which is accessibility. When you take music therapy online, all you’ll need is a browser and internet connection so you can take a class. It doesn’t matter whether you’re on vacation in the Bahamas or don’t feel like leaving your room. You’ll enjoy and attend your therapy class like everyone else who went there in person. Due to accessibility, it allows people incredibly far from the teacher access classes canceling the geographical distance.
7. Improved appointment attendance
When you know that you won’t have to leave your room because you’ll meet your music therapist online, it gets hard to cancel on them. It can sometimes be difficult leaving your house to go to your therapy session on bad days. But when all you have to do is turn on your computer, it gets easier. Virtual music therapy brings your therapist to your home through the screen for you to feel more comfortable. Of course, you don’t need to have musical instruments at home, but if you do, that’s even better. You will enjoy creating music and singing along with your therapist for as long as you need. Singing away the anxiety and stress from your body at the comfort of your home.
8. Improves self-esteem, especially in teenagers
Adolescence coincides with stress and lots of changes. When change emerges, it usually leaves in its wake a lot of stress. High-school students go through many self-esteem issues, and some studies on them proved that music helps reduce stress levels in their bodies which also reflects by lowering academic stress. Music therapy involves a lot of creativity. During this process, one realizes that they can actually create something substantial and even sing, even though that’s something they would only do when showering. By letting go and embracing this creative side, music tends to reduce stress and boost self-esteem levels.
9. Improves self-expression
Sometimes when we are overwhelmed with feelings and can’t express them to others, music becomes a good refuge. Songwriting is a researched method for self-expression. Even though words are an excellent way to express feelings (whether negative or positive), putting these feelings down on paper like lyrics and singing them out helps express how one feels and even get the resentment or happiness out if that’s the feeling they’re trying to convey. That’s why you always cry or dance when listening to a piece of music, depending on the message and tempo.
10. Supports social connections
Most self-proclaimed introverts don’t get to interact socially with so many people. Besides them, some people are socially awkward, and music helps them come out of their shells and interact, even if it is with the music therapist. But even so, it creates a social connection. If you’re attending music therapy, you’ll always feel the urge to participate when you hear people speak about music which is a great gift as you will create great friends in the process. The love for music always brings various people together and can result in deep bonds. Music therapy also can help you cope with whatever your current situation is, which is a plus.
Virtual music therapy is an excellent mental, emotional, and cognitive health tool. As seen through the benefits above, virtual music therapy is a perfect tool for children, adults, and even the elderly. It helps children in various ways of development. It allows adults to reduce stress levels, and in older adults, it helps them manage diseases like Alzheimer’s. Even though music therapy can’t cure mental illnesses like depression and anxiety, it can help reduce the symptoms and make people feel good. It is a creative way for people to express their feelings and process their experiences. It’s even a better option to express oneself when words fail.