The American Music Therapy Association

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The American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) defines music therapy as an “established health profession in which music is used within a therapeutic relationship to address physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs of individuals”. Studies have shown that there are clear benefits from listening to or playing music, but research over the last decade proves music can be used to heal in the medical field. Dementia and other neurological disorders have no cure, only treatments to lessen the symptoms. Music therapy offers a cost effective and less invasive form of treatment that focuses on the individuals needs and goals. Music therapy is also a more creative and personalized form of treatment. This paper will provide evidence to answer the question: Are dementia and other neurological disorders improved through music therapy? In this publication, Matthews focuses on the effects of music therapy on dementia patients. He hones in on a case that was featured in the documentary “Alive Inside”. Henry, an elderly man with late stage dementia is given the chance to listen to some music. The music therapist plays his favorite artist, Cab Calloway and Henry begins to light up, move and remember feelings he had when he was younger and heard that song. The music therapy didn’t restore what was lost but it was able to have positive effects even after the song stopped. It awakened parts of his brain that may have been dormant and music helped him bring back old memories. Matthews

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