I Can Have My Own Music Therapy at Home… Right?: Common Misconceptions About Music Therapy vs. Reality

“Let’s keep it simple!” The habitual phrase that my mom used to tell me while stressing out for homework. When I was younger, my mom used to buy CDs with the title of “relaxation” to help me to control my anxieties and to decrease my stress levels. My mom and I thought that music therapy involved no one else more than yourself and the music. That “relaxation” music helped me to feel calm but it also resulted in an addiction since I have to repeat it almost every single day in order to feel great. Today, I learned something important; those CDs were not music therapy as my mom and I thought.

According to Olivier Brabant, a Doctoral student at the University of Jyväskylä and whose research interests involves music therapy, some “music sellers” takes advantage of the creation of calm music to relate it with music therapy. Before heard Brabant’s presentation, I have this and other misconceptions about the field. I also thought that music therapy was only for people with disabilities, that people in the field were not therapists and that they were just showing people how to play instruments to make them accept their disability.

But I was wrong. First, music therapy is a therapy that involves music, a client, and a therapist where the goal in a session is to help the client to reach a stable physical and mental health. Secondly, music therapy is for everyone! Yes, for EVERYONE! In fact, people who work in the field are call therapists, although the definition for therapists is different in every country. I have learned also that therapists prefer that their clients don’t have any knowledge about music at all. Brabant mentioned that is harder to treat with a client if he or she already knows how to play a certain instrument because when they try to play it they are more concentrate on play the instrument right rather than benefit themselves with the therapy.

Now that I’m aware of the meaning of music therapy, I will share my knowledge first with my mother and then with others to eliminate the common misconceptions about this field. Music therapy is a growing career that looks for the well-being of people as many other fields, knowing this, my hope is that in the future this career can be better appreciated by the world.



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