I would be more than happy to answer the
questions; however, many of them are dependent
upon the client.
1. How has music therapy been effectively
~Basic answer: Music therapy can be used in many
settings with people of all ages and diagnosis.
Some of the settings include but are not limited
to: hospice/adult day care centers; juvinile
homes/prisons; private practices; psychiatric
facilites; rehabilitation centers; hospitals;
etc. In these placements music therapy may be
used to address various disabilities such as,
developmental and learning disabilities;
Alzheimers (and other aging related
disabilities); brain injuries; physical
disabilities; etc. Some of the goals that would
be addressed can include: social/behavioral
skills, communication skills, cognitive skills,
sensory and motor skills
2. Is a heart rate monitor the best tool to
monitor heart rate?
~Depends on what the purpose is. If you are
looking for a correlation between music and
heart rate and you have a limited budget then
yes go for it! Many studies use various blood
pressure equipment as well as expensive
equipment that is usually seen in hospitals.
3. What background do you need to be a music
~In order to become a music therapist, one must
attend an AMTA approved college/university music
therapy degree program. The program usually
involves four semesters of music therapy classes
(mt with different disabilities, psychology
classes, piano, guitar, etc.); multiple
practicum sites (placement where the student
works with one or more people with a disability
and is observed by a board certified mt); and a
6 month internship at a college affiliated or
amta affiliated site. After the six month
internship and signed paperwork from the head of
the mt department the student is elligible for
the board exam. This exam is a comprehensive
exam that tests every thing from music theory to
music therapy practice. Upon passing the exam,
the newly board certified music therapist has to
maintain good standing with CBMT as well as take
100 continuing education credits every five
years or retake the exam every five years
inorder to maintain certification.
4. Will the music someone is listening to
change their resting heart rate?
~Great question! It depends on the person!
Many studies have shown that when a person is
listening to prefered music (ex: I prefer
country or classical) then the persons becomes
more relaxed and heart rate and blood pressure
decreases. However, this area is based on the
Iso Principle. Basically, you meet the person
where they are at and then shift their mood in
either a good or bad direction through music.
For example: If I am super depressed and want to
become more happy then I find a song that (to
me) is super depressed and I am enjoying. Maybe
the song is in a minor key, lower pitched
instruments (cello, tuba, etc.). After that
song, I might listen to something that is still
in a minor key but a little less depressing. I
would slowly work my way up to a "happier"
sounding song. Which would also slowly bring my
mood up. (I hope that makes sense!) Some
studies show than purely classical music is the
way to help people relax, while other studies
show that it's best to use prefered music. In
my experience, prefered music works wonders!
American Music Therapy Association
Hope that helps!
music for the Certification Board of Music