In some way or the other, music has proven to touch an individual on a subconscious level, which helps a person feel a certain emotion or even help express things in ways that they couldn’t before.  

What is Music Therapy ?

Music therapy is an inclusion of a therapy technique which are called expressive therapy. The main motive of expressive theory is to reach out to people in the form of various arts including poetry, art, and music.  

It provides psychological and social support to those in need by expressive therapists, who are experts in whichever form of art they specialize in. It can be used to cure many emotional conditions such as depression, anxiety, changes in health, and even physical pain. 

History of Music Therapy

Most historians date the process of healing by the form of music to as old as the days of Aristotle, while in some cultures, it is believed to have its origin even before that.  

Formally, the use of music as medicine was s recognized to have begun in the 20th century, when professionals used music to cure patients of emotional and psychological conditions, and even physical conditions by using music as a form of distraction. 

The earliest known reference to music therapy was in 1789, in the form of an article titled, Music Physically Considered. The first-ever systematic experiments for music therapy were conducted in the 1800s 

How Does Music Therapy Help Dementia Patients?

Increase Communication

Playing music, even for patients who are in the latter stages of the condition, has seen some sort of reaction or communication from the patient. Patients who have stopped communication verbally show their reactions in other ways, like a gleam in the eye or the movement of limbs, for example. 


Music therapy has been shown to work really well for the brain’s network to change and grow, a phenomenon which is called neuroplasticity in medical terms. It has been discovered that there are several parts of the brain that responds to music as a stimulus, as compared to the previous assumption that only a certain region is reactive to the same stimulus. 

Improved Social Interaction

A dementia patient has been observed to have better and more positive social interaction, especially with their caregiver after a music therapy session. This, in turn, also works as a stress-reliever for the caregiver. 

Music Therapy and Memory

Patients with dementia tend to forget more and more things as their condition progresses. Music, however, has the capacity to retrieve certain memories associated with sound. 

Music stimulates the brain’s feel-good system, which helps in releasing a chemical called serotonin, which helps a person feel happier. The release of this hormone helps in memory loss and even makes a person feel good emotionally. 

What does a Music Therapy Session look like?

Music therapy can be conducted individually or as part of a group. There are 20 standardized clinical techniques that are grouped into 3 major categories: cognition, sensorimotor, and language and speech. 

The objective of a music therapy session is to provide the patient with an awareness of their time, place, and identity.  

  • The first step is to bring everything into focus. This is done through fast-paced music, which increases cognition by activating responsiveness. 
  • The next priority is to focus on the parts of the brain that are responsible for sensimonitor tasks. This is done through beats and rhythm, which provoke body movement. 
  • Finally, singing helps in language and speech. When the patient sings the date and day of the week or month, along with their name and identity, they open a door to past memories that they could otherwise not recall. 

What Type of Music Works Best?

Experts claim that music that the patient has experienced throughout their lifetime works best, as that is what they have aged listening to, and which they will most likely respond, react, or relate to.  

Most of their memories are associated with the music that they have enjoyed throughout their life. 


In conclusion, music therapy is a safe, tested method that is used to treat dementia patients. It has several benefits, as listed above, and it also proves to be beneficial and acts as a stress reliever for the caregiver. 

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