THERAPEUTIC EFFECTS OF COUNTRY MUSIC ON HUMAN HEALTH (EDUCATION PROJECT TOPICS AND MATERIALS)
- Background of the Study
Music has been used throughout human history to express and affect human emotion. In biblical accounts, King Saul was reportedly soothed by David’s harp music, and the ancient Greeks expressed thoughts about music having healing effects as well. Many cultures are steeped in musical traditions. It can change mood, have stimulant or sedative effects, and alter physiological processes such as heart rate and breathing. The apparent health benefits of music to patients in Veterans Administration hospitals following World War II led to it being studied and formalized as a complementary healing practice. Musician were hired to continue working in the hospitals (Alperson, 2004).Degrees in music therapy became available in the late 1940s, and in 1950, the first professional association of music therapists was formed in the United States. The National Association of Music Therapy merged with the American Association of Music Therapy in 1998 to become the American Music Therapy Association. (AMTA, 2004)
According to Austin (2004), music therapy is often defined as a profession and practice concerned with treatment. Systematic (and predictable) interventions by the music therapist in people’s lives isemphasized. Well established areas of such practices occur within special education and neurological rehabilitation, music psychotherapy, recreational use of music, teaching self-care strategies for maintaining relaxation and stress reduction, community music therapy as well as music administered within medical settings to influence physical health. (Thaut, et. al., 2005)
Music therapy is a technique of complementary medicine that uses music prescribed in a skilled manner by trained therapists. Programs are designed to help patients overcome physical, emotional, intellectual and social challenges. Applications range from improving the wellbeing of geriatric patients in nursing homes to lowering the stress level and pain of women in labor. Music therapy is used in many settings, including schools, rehabilitation centres, hospitals, hospice, nursing homes, community centers, and sometimes even in the home (Wade, 2004).