- Music therapy is an emerging non-pharmacological therapy that treats mental health issues.
- One of its prominent theories is the Mozart effect which highlights the health benefits of listening to classical music.
Understanding Music Therapy
Music therapy is a type of therapy that uses the healing powers of music to treat certain physical disabilities and mental disorders. It draws from the recreational and socio-cultural dimensions of music while also harnessing the neuroscience-based therapeutic benefits of music in the process of treatment.
Music therapy has been proven beneficial in:
- Improving perceptions of the environment
- Enhancing movement skills
- Healthier emotional processing
- Boosting memory and communication skills
- Enhancing positivity, calmness, and rationality
- Boosting our immunity
What Is The Mozart Effect?
The Mozart effect is a theory claiming that listening to the music of Mozart may temporarily boost a person’s intelligence quotient and spatial reasoning abilities. However, the theory remains controversial, with little empirical evidence.
The Benefits Of The Mozart Effect
Psychologist Don Campbell, in his books, elaborated on the healing power of the Mozart effect. He stated that playing classical music to infants and children benefits their mental health and cognitive development.
A recent study also highlighted how listening to classical music by Mozart and Strauss notably lowered blood pressure and heart rate in the elderly.
The musical notes also activated the brain areas involved in music processing, including the prefrontal, temporal, and precuneus regions. It was further found that listening to music could improve our relationships and promote prosocial behavior.
The Clinical Benefits Of The Mozart Effect
The Mozart effect has been incorporated, in recent decades, in a number of therapies to treat:
- Brain injury
- Anxiety and panic disorders
- Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Sleep disorders
- Addictive disorders, particularly withdrawal symptoms
- Substance use disorders
- Memory disorders
Emerging research has also emphasized the important relationship between music and couples therapy. Clinicians are attempting to reap the Mozart effect by incorporating it into couples counseling. This is because classical music betters our empathy, listening ability, and communication skills in interpersonal relationships.