It is well documented about music’s ability to make the brain a better, high-performing organ but a recent new story about a music therapy program for dysfunctional families made our hearts swell.
Reuters reports on a study published in the Journal of Music Therapy that shows how music therapy can be just as effective as traditional programs for helping to repair and rebuild dysfunctional families. Researchers identified 18 families in which the children were on the verge of being removed from their parents due to emotional neglect. Half of the families were exposed to music therapy programs that involved playing instruments, listening to music and playing musical games with the presence of a therapist. The other half of the participants underwent more traditional treatment.
After six to 10 music therapy sessions, parents said they felt less stressed by their children’s moods and felt more empathetic toward them and, overall, reported having less negative feelings toward them.
Yet, all families can benefit from shared musical experiences, not just those who attend formalized music therapy sessions, says Stine Jacobsen who led the study.
“Singing together or singing for your infant or toddler can be a very intimate bonding activity and comes naturally for some families,” Jacobson says. “The earlier you start interacting nonverbally with your child in a meaningful way the more you might see or feel the benefit.”
So sing out loud with your children. Dance in silly ways and listening to your favorite songs. It just might make your family stronger.
The benefits of music therapy has been well documented in other patients. Read our blog post about music therapy’s effectiveness for Alzheimer’s patients.
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