Music Therapy

Music Therapy at University Hospitals Can Help Patients Improve Emotional, Mental and Physical Health

Music therapy at the Connor Integrative Medicine Network, a system-wide initiative headquartered at University Hospitals Ahuja Medical Center in Beachwood, Ohio, offers patients a way to use music to communicate and to improve their physical and emotional well-being. Music therapy plans are tailored to each patient’s individual needs, helping them get the most out of each session.

Quick Facts about Music Therapy

  • As early as 400 B.C., Hippocrates, Greek father of medicine, played music for his mental patients
  • The apparent health benefits of music played for patients in Veterans Administration hospitals following World War II lead to it being studied and formalized as a complementary healing practice in 1944
  • The term "Mozart effect" was coined after a study found that college students performed better on math problems when listening to classical music

What is Music Therapy?

Music therapy is the clinical practice of using evidence-based musical interventions and experiences to accomplish individually tailored goals within a therapeutic relationship.

As an established health profession, music therapy is used to address physical, emotional, cognitive and social needs of individuals. After an initial assessment, the music therapist develops and provides a treatment plan which can include creating, singing, moving to, and/or listening to music. Through musical involvement in the therapeutic context, clients' abilities are strengthened and transferred to other areas of their lives. Music therapy also provides avenues for communication that can be helpful to those who find it difficult to express themselves in words.

Research in music therapy supports its effectiveness in many areas such as: overall physical rehabilitation and facilitating movement, increasing people's motivation to become engaged in their treatment, providing emotional support for clients and their families, and providing an outlet for expression of feelings.

Benefits of Music Therapy

With the ability to serve a vast array of populations, music therapy can aid in anxiety reduction, rehabilitation, pain relief, academics/cognition, and quality of life.

There is further evidence that music therapy can help with:

  • Rehabilitation: neurologic, Parkinson’s, stroke, expressive aphasia
  • Elderly: Alzheimer’s, dementia, and geriatric patients
  • Developmentally disabled: children and adults
  • Pregnancy: expectant mothers, newborns
  • Autism spectrum diagnosis
  • Learning disorders/academics
  • Recovery from addiction, crisis and/or trauma
  • Bereavement: grieving the loss of a loved one

Music Therapy at UH

Music therapy is offered to patients at various locations throughout UH, including UH Ahuja Medical Center, UH Bedford Medical Center, UH Richmond Medical Center, and University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center.

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