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the Impact of Music Therapy on Mental Illness

Sep 28, 2020

By: Olivia Medari  

          When thinking of mental illness, we often think of words such as stress, anxiety, or depression. We also live in a society that has also put a stigma on mental illness. When starting research on mental illness my findings suggested that the process to guard mental health is so ambiguous. In medicine, people treat mental illness with pharmaceuticals. For example, if a person has depression, the treatment procedure would be prescribing anti-depressants such as amitriptyline, amoxapine, or clomipramine. However, in a rehabilitation environment, different forms of therapy would be applicable to treat patients who have a mental illness. Some forms include art therapy, complementary therapies (yoga/meditation), verbal therapy, and more. Music therapy is also an emerging therapy for mental health. Music therapy is differentiated from music in medicine. Music in medicine may be for recreational use (ex....

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Student Reflection: Using EEG to measure the effects of improvisational group music therapy on stress and anxiety: an exploration of feasibility

Sep 02, 2020

McMaster University HTH SCI 4A15- Thesis: Post-Project Reflection Project: Using EEG to measure the effects of improvisational group music therapy on stress and anxiety: an exploration of feasibility

Submitted by: Daniel Friedberg
Supervisors: Annilee Baron, Rachael Finnerty

     One of the most significant lessons I’ve learned during my time in post-secondary education is that work is not about the end goal, it is about the process towards the end goal. As I worked through the stages and components of this thesis project, I was reminded of this again and again as I gained a number of valuable lessons, the most important of which I’ve described below.

       In order to give context and a proper knowledge base going into the research of my literature review, my first task was to learn about brainwaves- what are they, how do they come about, and what is their purpose? I did not anticipate just how difficult some of these questions would...

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Reflections on Music Therapy in Elementary Education

Jun 03, 2020

On Oct 21, 2019, our Director of Education Rachael Finnerty was a Guest Speaker in Gabriella Ocadiz's Music and Special Education class at McMaster University. One of the students, Sergio Raez Villanueva, shared his reflection on Rachael's presentation with us. Read Sergio's thoughts below:

Guest Speaker Thoughts

I found our guest speaker, Rachael, to be extremely amiable and welcoming as she explained and shared her experiences with the class. I do not know much about music therapy and her insight was extremely valuable to me as I do have a small background and a big interest in healthcare. Music therapy is the use of music for a healthcare goal, and I thought this was such a meaningful and useful manner of utilizing music to help others. It had never occurred to me that this was a career option! Combining music with healthcare seems amazing to me. I will not lie and say that I have been trying to learn a little more about it as a career option – fascinating!

I also...

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Using Music Therapeutically During COVID-19

May 29, 2020
Contributed by: Jay Erlich  
 
We are living in unprecedented times with the COVID-19 global pandemic. As Canadians, we are working in essential services or self-isolating. Both situations carry with them enormous anxiety. I have been coping with this pandemic by using music to reduce adverse mental health symptoms. My life will actually be better after the pandemic than before, thanks to the daily inclusion of using music therapeutically in my life. My goal with this article is to share my experience with using music therapeutically, in hopes you may benefit and improve the quality of your life. Let me tell you what I mean.
 
A major stress during the pandemic is that it is hard for families to not spend physical time with each other. There is uncertainty about when some of us will get back to work. There is anxiety about going to a grocery store or pharmacy given the fear that you might get sick with Covid-19. Understandably, we all want the end of the...
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Benefits of Music During COVID-19

May 11, 2020

Contributor: Stephanie An

With times being very uncertain right now, many of us has found it hard to stay motivated to do our work or even have a sense of what we are feeling right now. The world is on lockdown, and we are being asked to stay indoors to help prevent the spread of this virus. Students have shifted to online learning, and many people have lost their jobs. Sudden changes like this are not easy to adjust to. All that is on the news lately has been sensitive content for many and as we see the number of lives affected by this virus, it has been heartbreaking.

While we all practice social distancing and self-isolation, mental health risks are on a rise for all age groups. Students have gone from seeing their classmates every day and being able to hang out with their friends to only being able to communicate through social media. Parents who are unable to stay at home to care for their children because they are working are now struggling to find caseworkers. Some...

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Music Therapy, Mental Health, and University Students

Apr 13, 2020

Written by: Naomi Frazer    and Anjali Behal 

Prevalence

 Mental health issues are incredibly prevalent in the post-secondary student population and are only expected to continue rising. In Ontario alone, mental health disabilities in post-secondary students has increased by over 50% since 2013 (1). In fact, youth aged 15-24 are the most at-risk group for mental illness and substance abuse disorders (2). Student mental health is a diverse issue which not only affects the institutions that students are situated at, but society as a whole (1). Mental health disorders can impact an individual’s ability to work and contribute to the economy, in addition to increasing health expenditures and straining social services (1). Mental health issues often lie hand-in-hand with physical health concerns, as people with mood disorders are much more likely to also develop a long-term physical health condition, and vise-versa (2). Consequently, we can see that directing...

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Music Therapy & Anxiety

Mar 20, 2020

What is Anxiety? 

We often hear words like “anxiety” being thrown around in daily conversations that we engage in or even in discussions we overhear. It is important to properly understand what anxiety is before exploring the role of music therapy for anxiety. Anxiety can be an emotional response to certain stressful situations which may cause worry.1 Commonly, individuals may experience some anxiety when they are about to take an important test, for example.1 This can be classified as state anxiety, because the anxiety is brought on by a specific situation and normally subsides when that situation is no longer present.2 However, anxiety can be more than just an occasional expected emotional response. Anxiety Disorder occurs when a person feels anxious but the feeling does not dissipate and can get worse, sometimes to the point where it interferes with daily life such as relationships, jobs, and work.1 Individuals who present with Anxiety Disorder commonly have...

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Summary of Research Paper about Music Therapy & NICU

Oct 10, 2019

Loewy J, Stewart K, Dassler A-M, Telsey A, Homel P, Louis Armstrong T. The Effects of Music Therapy on Vital Signs, Feeding, and Sleep in Premature Infants. 2013 [cited 2019 Sep 3]; Available from: www.pediatrics.org/cgi/doi/10.1542/peds.2012-1367

Music is a universal phenomenon, having powerful effects on the human body, mind and spirit from before we are born until the end of our lives. Some modern research suggests that music therapy can play a vital role in the health and well-being of infants, specifically for those in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs). In a study performed by Joanne Loewy, Kristen Stewart, Ann-Marie Dassler, Aimee Telsey and Peter Homet, the effect of live music was investigated to explore potential improvements in both physiological and developmental functions of infants. Some of these functions include oxygen saturation levels, heart rates and respiratory rates, activity levels, sleep, feeding behaviour, and weight gain. Because the musical elements...

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Effectiveness of Music Therapy on Pediatric Postoperative Distress

Jul 09, 2019

 By: Jihyun Sung

As a student of health sciences specializing in child health, as well as an avid disciple of classical music performance, I found myself gravitating toward the field of music therapy during my undergraduate years. It was a perfect intersection between healthcare and music, and led me to do my senior year thesis project on it. The topic of the project, What is the effectiveness of music therapy on pediatric postoperative distress?, encompassed all of my passions; music, healthcare, and child health. Part of my project was conducting a systematic literature review on this topic.

The systematic literature review posed as a challenge from the start, because of how often academic literature used music medicine and music therapy interchangeably. It seemed that regardless of the geographic region, the study design, or the purpose of music therapy interventions, the term “music therapy” was frequently used to describe passive music listening, which is music...

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A Whole New World

Jun 05, 2019

My name is Zachary Brown, and I am a grade 12 student at Sir John A. MacDonald
secondary school as well as an aspiring music therapist. Recently I was able to experience two whole new sides of music therapy that I hadn't been exposed to before.

During one of my visits to a long term care facility that I've been volunteering at, I got to sit in on a one on one session between Laura, the facility's music therapist and one of their residents. I got to see Laura work alongside the physiotherapist that works there as well, while they worked with another resident. Both of these experiences introduced me to a new world of music therapy that is vastly different than the group therapy sessions I had been exposed to before.

There is something truly special about setting aside a time to devote all your energy to one person. I saw this firsthand, as I witnessed my first ever one on one music therapy session. When we met the resident for her session, she appeared at first to be totally...

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