A Brief History Of Music Therapy
Post on 23-Jan-2016
DESCRIPTIONFor thousands of years, people have known that music is more than a mere pleasure, that it also impr
A Brief History Of Music Therapy
For thousands of years, people have known that music is more than a mere pleasure, that it alsoimproves our quality of life in a deeply significant way. In the Hebrew Book of Samuel, King Saul istormented by an evil spirit that only departs when the young David plays the lyre for him. When themusic is playing, King Saul is soothed and restored to his right mind. In ancient Greece, Hippocrates-- widely considered the father of modern medicine -- used music as part of the treatments he offeredpatients. Ancient Egyptians helped women through labor and childbirth with healing music.
Relatively recently, in the past one hundredyears, a more formal, codified use of musicas therapy, as a treatment for diseases, anda therapeutic aid for groups like studentswith special needs, emerged worldwide.The initial stirrings that led to thisdevelopment began at the turn of thetwentieth century. In the U. S., a societywas established in 1903 for the promotionof the therapeutic uses of music. It wascalled the National Therapeutics Society ofNew York. Interest in the research andwork of this group intensified and grew around the worldto name just one example, when a group ofAustralian musicians heard about the ideas of the New York Society, they formed one of their own.Inspired by the first Society, the Australians called theirs the International Society for MusicalTherapeutics. It was founded in 1924.
This interest in and proliferation of groups to promote music as therapy were ignited by World WarI. Doctors and nurses treating the war wounded noticed a hugely beneficial effect on patients whenvolunteer musicians played for them. As a result, the medical profession began to seek a way tomake this type of treatment more scientificto create educational programs where musicians could betrained as therapists. Music therapy programs were the result. The first degree granting programwas established in the United States, at Michigan State University in 1944.
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Soon afterward, the National Association for Music Therapy (NAMT) was formed in the U.S. Twentyyears later, another group, the American Association for Music Therapy, was founded. These twoorganizations merged to become the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) in 1998. To thisday, the AMTA is dedicated to ensuring the development and therapeutic use of music inrehabilitation, special education, medical and community environments. Their mission statement isto advance public awareness of the benefits of music therapy and increase access to quality musictherapy services in a rapidly changing world.
They further state that research shows musical interventions help promote wellness, manage stress,alleviate pain, express feelings, enhance memory, improve communication and promote physical
rehabilitation. The American Music Therapy Association is responsible for deciding the criteria forthe education and professional training of music therapists.
Today, more than 70 universities and colleges have degree programs approved by the AmericanMusic Therapy Association and there are more than 5,000 registered music therapists in the U.S.Music therapy is used to treat a huge range of diseases and conditions, including cancer, stroke,heart disease, Parkinsons, cerebral palsy and autism.
By: Nuseibeh Betsey
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Betsey Nuseibeh is the author of this article on Music Therapy.Find more information about MusicAs Therapy here.