Music Therapy in Treating the Physiological or Psychological Aspect of an Illness or Disability

In the last decades of the information age, where technology has rapidly advanced and information is readily available through search engines connected to databases on the World Wide Web, medical studies have similarly advanced and enlarged their domain to psychological and physiological areas of study in addition to their traditional physical concerns. Music therapy, one area of study, has shown growing development and interest. Music therapist Deforia Lane defines music therapy as “the systematic application of music to aid in the treatment of the physiological or psychological aspect of an illness or disability” and notes that the human soul relates inseparably to this treatment (Lane 15). It is an increasingly prevalent and effective program which has a history, method, and effect.The importance of music in an individual’s life has only recently acquired scientific support, although for much of human history its benefits have been suspected. Music has been an important part of cultures around the world for good reason. Interestingly enough, “embryologists agree that the ear is the first organ to develop in embryo”, suggesting even the beginning of the importance of sound in an individual’s life (Campbell 23). Also, it has been discovered that the ear “becomes functional after only eighteen weeks, and that it listens actively from twenty-four weeks on” (Campbell 23). Even as an embryo, before ever being exposed to light or a comforting touch, humans experience sound from the beginning of their existence. A mother’s voice becomes the first embrace her child will receive, with soothing harmonies and warm tones from simple conversations, creating symphonies during infancy. Although hearing greatly depends on the function of the …

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Wigram, Tony, Bruce Saperston, and Robert West, eds. Art & Science of Music Therapy: A Handbook. New York: Routledge, 1995. Print.

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