Music Is Medicine; An Insight Into Clinical Music Therapy

The therapeutic benefits of sound have been long known to mankind. It is said that the first sound we are exposed to in the womb is the beating heart of our mother. And so rhythm is ingrained in our physiology, functioning and being from time without beginning. A steady rhythm can create a grounding effect, which provides a sense of safety and security. So to say, we are all hard-wired to respond to music.

Music has the potential to bring one’s awareness back to the present moment, therefore reducing stress, anxiety, and inducing a state of deep relaxation. It helps in releasing pent up emotions from the body, that are otherwise suppressed and hinder everyday functioning. Music has the power to improve cognitive functions like memory and attention, boost one’s rate of healing and even help in pain management. It soothes the depressed, and calms the brokenhearted. It provides us all with hope and faith, and joy.

Various meditations use the sound of singing bowls, and gongs for inducing an altered state of consciousness or to practice mindfulness. Sound-based healing is an upcoming, newly recognised form of alternative medicine.

Clinical Music Therapy (CMT), however, is different from sound healing. For one, neither the therapist nor the client requires any skills in playing any instrument. In CMT, music is used as a language for expressing emotions that otherwise may remain untapped. Especially when working with children or people with special needs, music therapy works wonders in understanding the client’s present state of mind. By creating a secure base, the therapist can work with deeper and suppressed emotions and behaviours that may be impacting the clients’ quality of life.

CMT is an approach that uses music as a medium, and also includes the use of other therapeutic techniques such as Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy. It follows the principles of humanitarianism, and provides a safe space for the client to build self-awareness and learn more adaptive ways of coping and being. In the therapy room, a music therapist gauges through the disorganised sounds, which may even be considered noise otherwise, and derive meaning based on the unique needs of the client.

The benefits of CMT are being thoroughly researched, and it is found that clients with any form of physical or mental illness can benefit from it. It is shown to improve the condition of Alzheimer, Schizophrenia, Autism, Down’s Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy and many other degenerative and pervasive disorders.

Music has the potential to enhance your self-care journey. It has a lasting impact on one’s wellbeing and overall health. It helps you to process difficult emotions. Sometimes when your mind is racing, and you find yourself overthinking, listening to music with a slow tempo can have a calming effect and can assist you in reducing the intensity of anxiety being felt. If you’re feeling lazy or demotivated, playing your favourite pumped-up tunes can make you feel energised. Songs with a fast-paced peppy tempo make you bounce back on your feet when you’ve been feeling gloomy.

Music also plays a vital role in sleep patterns. So to say, if you have disturbed sleep, chanting ‘OM’ can reduce stress and lead to improved sleep. You can also listen to 432 HZ tracks to help you cope with disrupted sleep. Music has been proven to be meditative and has the innate potential to de-stress an individual. Musical instruments play a vying role in this aspect. It improves your concentration and focus, and therefore aids in overall sense of wellbeing.


Thoma, M.V., Marca, R.L., Bronnimann, R., Finkel, L., Ehlert, U., Nater, U.M. (2013). The effect of music on the human stress response. PloS One, 8 (8), e70156.

Kamioka, H., Tsutani, K., Yamada, M., Park, H., Okuizumi, H., Tsuruoka, K., Honda, T., Okada, S., Park, S. J., Kitayuguchi, J., Abe, T., Handa, S., Oshio, T., & Mutoh, Y. (2014). Effectiveness of music therapy: a summary of systematic reviews based on randomized controlled trials of music interventions. Patient Preference and Adherence, 8, 727–754.

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Harleen Bajwa
Harleen Bajwa
3 years ago

Very well played!!
keep it up girl!!
all the best for ur ventures ahead!!