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The Benefits of Music and Movement

Nov 02, 2020

Contributed by: Julia Bissessar   

From a young age, I have participated in both music and dance lessons and they’ve become a very large part of my life. They have shaped my academic career and furthered my interest in music and how it relates to the body and the mind. I can recall many times of my fingers finding the right keys on the piano without much thinking on my end, creating a calm yet hyper-focused state. I also found great relief and satisfaction after completing dance combinations in my ballet classes. From my own experiences, I value the effectiveness of music and movement and within my academics, I have found that both these things together can have some very positive outcomes for a variety of people. 

I recall in one of my music cognition classes, we were shown a video of an elderly man with Parkinson’s who had trouble walking. However, once a piece of music began to play, he was able to walk with more ease and at a faster pace. This is...

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Grief & Music

Oct 19, 2020

Contributed by: Stephanie An   

While I cannot speak on other experiences, I am writing to you about my journey and personal experiences. 

In the midst of a pandemic and media coverage of many innocent lives being lost, many of us may be experiencing an overwhelming amount of emotions. 

Although many will never truly be prepared for the loss of a loved one, it is not something we can always control throughout life. Losing someone dear to us is never easy and can affect us in many ways throughout our everyday lives. As the loss may reveal many emotions and thoughts that overtake us, many call this process grieving. While others refer to “grief” as an emotion (Gustafson, 1989), others classify it as a response to said emotions. 

As life goes on, most people will experience grief at least once in their life. It is important to note that grief doesn’t have to come from the loss of a loved one only. The loss of an inspirational figure/idol...

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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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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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