You’ve probably heard that statement before and wondered if it was true. Well, you could try it yourself. When you get really upset, put on some calm, slow music you like and then assess you emotional condition about ten minutes later. Chances are you would feel a whole lot better than you did before.
Have you ever noticed that some songs put you to sleep (like a lullaby) and others seem to pump you up for action, thrills and adventure (like the ones in your favourite action film) or have you fearing for the character about to go into the dark room where that monster might be? Without the sound effects and/or background music and you probably won’t get as excited. So what exactly is going on?
Music Therapy in Action
Music has been proven to have a great effect on the mind, body and behaviour. It is such an important finding that there is a whole university level course based on it called Music Therapy. Unlike the little experiment above, music therapy has different objectives and end goals depending on the therapist and the one receiving the therapy.
Music therapy is a type of therapy that uses music (as recommended by a qualified professional) to elicit certain reactions in our mind set, actions, behaviour and emotions depending on the end goal of the therapy in question. It may also be used in conjunction with other types of therapy like anger management hypnosis.
As an art form, music is also used to express certain emotions and feelings. Happy music is upbeat and sounds bright. Sad music is low and slow and uses a lot of lower key notes. These different types of music can be used to elicit these feelings inside you or spur you into action. They can also help people who have trouble expressing themselves to do so.
This may be the reason that a person feels a certain well-timed song “speaks” to them in a particular situation. Sometimes, music therapy is recommended for those suffering from various ailments of the body or the mind. It is used in treatment of autism for example and sometimes even physical therapy.
Have you ever noticed how a certain song will remind you of that first game you won, or your parents, or a pleasant family memory? This is the reason music therapy can also be used in cases of memory loss. A case where music therapy was used to treat this is depicted in the movie The Music Never Stopped where music therapy is used to treat a man with a brain tumour who has trouble forming new memories.
Alternative Sound Therapies
There has been a whole craze revolving around subliminal messaging that has been thought to bring out certain behaviour that one does not suspect to be as a result of that song. Subliminal messaging does have some power and like anything else, can be used for good or for bad.
Binaural beats are frequencies that are used mainly for meditation that may also bring about certain moods or behaviours. They come with standard advice of not listening to them at high volumes and if there are any adverse physical effects like headaches, nausea and visual problems, to switch them off and see a physician.
Music therapy of any kind is a practice and a profession. If you do want to explore this option as a treatment method or have any questions or concerns, please consult a qualified professional.