It is a hybrid between art and health and serves to promote communication, expression and learning. In addition, it seeks to facilitate the organization and relationship of its patients.
It can be used in any area that is in demand, whether promoting health, rehabilitating or acting as a preventive measure or simply to improve the quality of life.
In addition, there is community or social music therapy, which aims to empower groups and enable the engagement and organization necessary for individuals in the group to have full capacities to face the common challenges of life in society.
According to the World Music Therapy Federation, "music therapy aims to develop potentials and restore the individual's functions so that he / she can achieve better intra and interpersonal integration and, consequently, a better quality of life".
How does music act on the brain?
A study published in 2014 looked at how the brain works when under the influence of music.
In that study, the researchers put jazz musicians to play their instruments while doing an MRI scan of the brain. This practice served to ascertain which parts of the brain would light up when the musicians were playing.
In addition to verifying that all those regions were in fact activated, the researchers asked the musicians to improvise together. This made it possible to verify that the brain, when we are improvising a song together, works in a very similar way to when we are talking orally with another person.
This discovery supports music therapy and its benefits for communicative processes, since the same areas of communication light up both when we are talking and when we are playing an instrument with another person.
In addition, music activates several regions of the brain responsible for memory, such as the hippocampus. This means that it can be used therapeutically in patients suffering from neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's.