ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How To Perform Music Therapy At Home

Updated on March 27, 2012

Practicing music therapy on oneself at home is an easy manner in which to effectively reduce anxiety and stress and promote calm and a general sense of well-being. One can also perform it at work on one's computer if things become to difficult. When selected correctly, music provides an escape to a quiet world where naught can bother one, a world in which there are no words, and in which one simply is.

Now to begin...

Step 1: Choose Your Music

Proper music selection is essential if one is to derive any benefit from musical therapy. This means that it is not enough for one to simply like the music one is to play; the music has to be appropriate to the listener's purpose, either in opposition to the listener's current feelings or similar to them. And it must offer a path into that state of mind that is beyond words, or no good shall be achieved.

In short, the popular genres, rock, pop, jazz, et cetera are inappropriate for therapeutic use. These genres are often too loud and stimulating, and their meaning is too verbally clear; one is likely to find oneself listening too much to the words to escape their influence.

Appropriate genres include classical and new age, the former being the most versatile. These forms are often instrumental fare, which leaves one paying more attention to the music itself rather than to words. However, not all classical music is created equal. While some classical music is purely instrumental, some is sung, usually in a foreign language like German, Italian, or Russian. While some classical music is extremely complex, other works are simple and tuneful. Generally, one wants to avoid the very tuneful fare that can easily become an earworm (a song that sticks in the mind and refuses to stop), and the sung fare in classical is not necessarily a reason to discard the piece if one does not understand the words. Always one must remember, while one piece might be helpful one day, the next it may have no effect. Such is the changeability of human emotion. One book on music therapy, Mind Music and Imagery, by Ms. Stephanie Merritt, lists five pieces, easily obtainable, that can be employed as a starting point in the use of music as medicine:

Brandenburg Concerto No. 1 by J. S. Bach (Any of the Brandenburg Concertos will do)

Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun by Debussy

Eine Kleine Nachtmusik by Mozart

Canon in D by Pachelbel

The Four Seasons by Vivaldi

Step 2: Relax

I cannot stress enough the importance of relaxing just before and during the actual music therapy, since the therapy does not promote any mood changes on its own, but helps speed up the process. One has selected the music for playing, one has placed the recording in the player. Just before pressing play, one would do well to take some deep breaths. Breathe in, and breathe out. Breathe in and breathe out. Now one presses Play...

Step 3: Listen And Concentrate

As I mentioned before, music therapy is more than just listening to one's favorite tunes. Most of the time in our culture, music is either an entertainment or merely background noise. A Tom Reynolds writes about how creepy today's love songs are, and there is a reason: nobody really listens to them; if they did, those songs would not be hits. Now the need for the right music becomes fully clear, since, one is actually to listen to the piece of music one has chosen. The key is focus, concentration and at the same time remembering to breathe.

Listen to each note individually, and pay attention to each silence in between, and soon one will begin to understand the music and gain insights into one's own character. The mood of the music shall meld with one's own mood, and one soon drops into that wordless state, where things can be described without words. One's negative emotions have for one brief, shining, ecstatic moment, been eradicated, and peace reigns supreme.

Then the moment and the music fade, and one must begin again at a later time, for as with any skill, the practice of music therapy takes time and routine practice for it to have any long-lasting benefits. Choose another piece of music, take a breath, and actively listen to that.

You are now on your way to a happier, healthier life.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • AlanDoughtyXIII profile imageAUTHOR

      AlanDoughtyXIII 

      20 months ago

      When, exactly, did this come about? I ask because I composed this article at a threshold time, when this was still very new and only just gaining some medical acceptance. Besides, I must acknowledge that I was feeling back then a sense of having nothing to contribute in any field, and it was the only useful idea I felt I could come up with. That did not stop that nagging doubt, and so I have been off HubPages for several years as a result. Reading your comment has only reminded me why I have not been active. Perhaps you can tell me how a superfluous man straight out of Tsarist Russian literature could be informative?

    • profile image

      Risa 

      23 months ago

      This is not music therapy. Music therapy is an evidence-based practice similar to physical therapy, speech therapy, and psychotherapy, and requires the appropriate education and certifications to be practiced. Just like one cannot do physical therapy but can do physical exercises recommended by a physical therapist (without calling it physical therapy), music therapy cannot be practiced on oneself, but music can be enjoyed as entertainment or personal relaxation without a certified music therapist. If interested, the website for the national organization for music therapists, American Music Therapy Association, is: www.musictherapy.org

    • profile image

      me 

      3 years ago

      cvool

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)