Music therapy. The connection between music and emotions, along with the music’s ability to influence physical and psychical health, was noticed many hundreds years ago. Pythagoras, Plato, and Aristotle wrote about music’s influence on health and behavior, and aboriginal tribes in the whole world used music as part of their health art.
Music therapy is an effective basic method in rehabilitation and correction work with patients of any age and any diseases, including children with disabilities and limited health capabilities (disorders of autistic specter, developmental delays, mental delays, child cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, disorders of hearing, speech, and vision).
When I was a kid, my brother would let me listen to child records with fairy tales and child songs. Listening to them, I would fall asleep or would start singing loudly. My father was a jazz fan, and good music was listened to in our house. Besides, my father played the piano well. Playing with me, my father would play a note and then ask me what note that was. Surprisingly, I always answered correctly. Later, when I grew up, he played melodies, and I would answer what melody that was and who performed these compositions. Years passed, but my brother and I remember all child songs from fairy tales, all the jazz music, and all the other music too. By listening to child records and singing child songs to the record player, I started talking and my musical talent developed.
When I went to an ordinary day care, the kindergarten teachers would make me sing as a usual child, pronouncing all sounds and getting to the music. If I was lazy, my teacher would curse and make me sing from the very beginning, along with the other children. That is why I tried not to let down the whole team and pronounced sounds and notes clearly.
What is music therapy and how does it work? Music therapy is an interpersonal process in which the therapist uses music and all its aspects to help patients improve, restore and save health. It is often used in work with people with limited abilities.
Music therapy is used to correct physiological and psychosocial aspects of different personal disorders, influences such complex psychical processes as thinking, memory, attention, and helps their improvement. Music is able to restore balance, elevate mood, activate creativity, develop the necessary qualities, and improve the physical shape of the patient.
For example, there were singing lessons in our school, and there was a choir in our class in which all students of our class, those who talked well and badly, and those who did not talk at all. All were equal and all were supposed to sing. In our school, during physical education classes, the music was turned on and we would relax and sleep for 15-30 minutes.
There were also speech therapy classes in our school during which my therapist made me sing or sing sounds in different tones and beats. My teacher used musical instruments and we had to try to play melodies and certain beats which she would show us. My teacher told me to sing any songs at any time. She knew, as well as any other doctor, that during singing, people’s lungs open and work fully, and it is easier and clearer to speak while singing. This method is used in healing stuttering.
I want very much to set up lessons in our center for talented people and find good teachers when funds allow to. Any person with disabilities is talented in some art. And we know famous people with disabilities. For example, Ludwig van Beethoven, Austrian composer, who started suffering from tinnitus when he was 30, and later became completely deaf. His deafness ruined his social life, but he did not stop writing music till the rest of his life.
Contemporary musical groups, consisting partially or entirely of people with disabilities, are popular in different countries throughout the world. Such groups are English The British Paraorchestra, German Station 17, Check The Tap Tap, and others.
Some musicians and actors interpret and perform songs in Sign Language. In Russia, they are actors from Kolyada-theater or groups of hearing impaired people.