What are some of the effects of music?

Music affects an individual in numerous ways. Music can:

  • Affect the body by changing heart rate and lowering blood pressure, body temperature, and respiration (breathing) rate.
  • Help improve quality of life, lessen feelings of isolation, and provide an increased sense of control.
  • Call up repressed (bottled up) emotions that may now be released.
  • Open the door spiritually and allow patients and families the opportunity to explore their own spiritual beliefs.
  • Physically stimulate conscious or unconscious body movements, such as toe tapping or large body movements, and improved gait (walking) and speech.
  • Bring people together socially, not just at large gatherings such as parties, weddings, or funerals, but in more informal, intimate shared experiences.

How can music therapy help in the hospital?

Music therapy can provide a wide range of possible outcomes, such as:

  • Anxiety reduction.
  • Coping skills.
  • Improved work of breathing.
  • Improved mood/decreased depression.
  • Improved motor development or processing.
  • Management of and/or distraction from pain.
  • Opportunities for socialization and interaction.
  • Reduction of blood pressure, heart rate, and/or muscle tension.
  • Relaxation and/or improved sleep.
  • Self-expression.
  • Stimulation or enabling of cognitive skills.
  • Stimulation or enabling of communication and language skills.
  • Stress management.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 12/28/2016.


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