The therapeutic power of music

Musical instruments for therapeutic use (Percussions) [Courtesy of Nicole Ribet]

All over the world the music therapy industry is booming: in London alone, there are now 16 centres set up to help patients affected by social, emotional or physical difficulties.

The therapy uses music to treat patients, especially those who have troubles expressing themselves verbally. According to the British Association for Music Therapy (BAMT) official website this form of therapy “has the potential to play a vital role in sustaining the health and well–being of our society into the future”.

“All of our most powerful memories as humans are attached to a song or music.”

People will work with instruments and voices to reflect their emotional and physical condition. The composition should enable them to build connections with their inner selves and with others around them.

The treatment is growing increasingly popular, with many organisations and businesses created all over the world. Among them is Ribet Rhythms in the US state of Mississippi, where it supplies music therapists to schools, hospitals, nursing homes and mental health facilities.

Nicole Ribet, owner and founder of Ribet Rhythms, is a certified oncological music therapist (OMT). She said: “Music therapy businesses are rapidly growing, so I started to develop mine in August 2013.  Before starting my business, there wasn’t any music therapy available, so I decided to change that so people could benefit from receiving this kind of service.”

Ribet also talked about the impact music can have on the brain by pointing out that tunes and lyrics are regularly present in everyday life. People have a tendency to respond more positively to music compared to words, and several studies have demonstrated that the brain is affected by music almost instinctively.

“Music is so linked to the brain. All of our most powerful memories as humans are attached to a song or music. Think about what songs you have powerful memories to in your own life, your first kiss, your childhood,” Ribet said.

Featured image: Nicole Ribet