Issued by CEMO Center - Paris
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World of Music (Part 6)

Saturday 12/June/2021 - 12:11 AM
The Reference
Ghada Abdelrehim

In the previous episodes, we talked about the most prominent characteristics of music and its therapeutic effect, and because the use of music in the treatment of some psychological, mental and organic diseases has become a global fact that does not accept dispute or form, it is necessary that the existence of the stability of this fact be linked to the emergence of different methods of music therapy, each method having its rules derived from the type of condition to be treated.

Multiplicity of methods means recognizing the difficulty or impossibility of applying rigid methods or rules with each case due to the differences and diversification of peoples, individuals, disease states, and the environment. In this episode, we explain the different methods of music therapy.


First method

It depends on the patient’s choice of the type of music he prefers. He chooses it himself from a music library that contains a large group of popular, classical, romantic, national, modern and other compositions. Then the patient is asked to select the tracks that appeal to him, as well as what he does not like, and discuss the reasons for the patient’s admiration with this or that piece, and the reasons for his dislike of another group. The therapist is then able to know the psychological state and mood of the patient and can also discover his tendencies and the desires, feelings, or pathological phenomena involved in his depths.

Experts advise not to ask direct questions aimed at understanding the patient's personality, because this may make him feel embarrassed or confused.

Second method

This method is based on the patient hearing three musical pieces. The first piece expresses a special problem, and it is advisable to choose with the patient's consent, although sometimes the therapist himself chooses the piece he deems appropriate for the case he is treating. If he doesn't find the right track, the music therapist immediately improvises the piece to meet the requirements of the situation.

This method, that is the improvisation method, has been used successfully in a number of music therapy centers in developed countries.

While listening to the first piece, the therapist can discover many causes of the disease through the expressions that appear on the patient’s face and benefit from this in the treatment stages. Experts say that we should advise the patient while listening to the first piece to think about the problems, tribulations and experiences that he encountered in his life, whether psychological or organic.

The second piece must meet some important conditions, which are to be calming, instill confidence and reassurance in the patient, and remove the effects of the first piece that express the revolution, problems or concerns of the patient in himself. While listening to the second piece, the means of comfort and relaxation as possible. During that time, we advise the patient to think about all that is wonderful in nature, such as roses, mountains, rivers, and harmony in colors.

Experts also advise that the light in the place be weak, but allow newspaper letters to be read.

Then comes the third piece, which performs a very important function, as it awakens the patient from a state of calm and relaxation and evokes a feeling of strength and victory. The lighting should also be strong during the playing of the third piece in order to contribute to achieving the desired goal of instilling full confidence in the patient and the desire for life, and helping him think about sports, artistic and social activities that express the correct social character of the human personality.

After four to eight music sessions, the therapist can get the patient to the desired goal.

Third method

It is natural for the body to be affected, excited and swaying when any person sings a melody that has the ability to cause this effect. In this case, the eye looking for the secrets of the relationship between music and the body can notice the organs, muscles and emotions of this body in their movement accompanying the music, which facilitates the therapist to know the effects and impression that this type of music has the listener, and therefore it is easy to diagnose his psychological and internal emotions.

The body translates sounds not only according to its characteristics, but also according to its own mood and psyche. Hence, we notice that the listener, for example, while listening, or the singer, while singing, experiences a moment of unique heart and physical awakening, embodied in the form of strong expressions, which contribute a great role in venting the excess energies in the body, until it returns to a state of comfort and calm that is difficult to explain in isolation from understanding the mutual relationship between music, soul and body.

In this way, it is easy for the therapist to put its program according to the situation in front of him.

Fourth method

This method takes advantage of the dynamic rhythm of Dalcroze and what this rhythm achieves in terms of expressing the inner feelings that lie in the depths of the human being and ridding him of internal psychological pressures.

Here, bodily movement with music plays a prominent role. Through this movement, the body expresses itself freely in coordination and harmony. This is used to transform movements into a tool for expressing the depths of the soul and unloading its charges.

The first step of this method begins with playing a strong musical introduction, so that it can move all the organs of the body. Then the movements focus on certain parts of the body, in harmony with the rhythm of the music that inspires calm and is characterized by softness through expressive music.

The results achieved by this method are represented in the feeling of love of life, activating the heart, and the desire to achieve harmony between the activity of the inner body and the outer world. This method can also be used in the form of exploration activities for children and young people. It is used to release the energy buried inside the body, which may cause many psychological complexes, which in turn, if they are gradual, may affect the physical, intellectual and possibly mental state.

By the way, the use of exploration within the activity of the church is very useful, not only to find a normal person psychologically and healthy, but also to facilitate the task of education, by creating a good relationship between children and youth and their coaches, where they can, through play and fun, facilitate the dissemination of sound principles and teachings through this vital activity. 

Fifth method

It is generally suitable for intellectuals and musicians, and its impact extends to other groups.

In the case of musicians, it is advisable for the patient to compose or improvise a piece of music that expresses his own feelings and emotions.

Through this expression, two correlative elements can be achieved. The first component is the discharge of harmful energy from oneself. The second element is to help the therapist know the type of disease through the expression of the piece of music.

In the case of educated patients who enjoy a great deal of critical taste, their opinion of the music played for them should be given attention and asked about its composition and impact, and the possibility of a general study of it.

As for patients who are not educated or musicians, Orff is considered the first to be credited with discovering a unique method based on group therapy and benefiting from rhythmic melodies with the help of the patient's use of percussion instruments.

In this case, the rhythm controls the patients, affects them and achieves through this effect psychological balance.

Sixth method

It is characterized by the participation of other elements besides music.

There is a team of experts recommending the use of massage and colors with music as aids to reach the desired goal.

The innovators of this method see the need for the patient to lie on his back and to play music without rhythm for a period ranging between 10 to 15 minutes, which is accompanied by the three colors: red, blue and yellow.

Then comes the second step, which consists of playing steady and slow music (about 60 beats per minute). This music lasts from 15 to 20 minutes.

While listening to the music, a specialist performs a light superficial massage of the hands, face and neck from the back. This type of massage accompanying the music helps to get rid of any tension inside the body parts. If the first step requires the presence of the three previously mentioned colors, then the second step results in the appearance of the blue color only. The last stage of this method aims to gradually return the patient to a state of full alertness by playing music that gradually increases in intensity and tone, and the three colors reappear. When full alertness returns to the patient, the therapist tries to talk to him, if he has the desire, and encourages him to express his feelings during the time with the music.

Seventh method

It relies on the element of muscular and psychological relaxation as a necessary prelude to treatment, according to Schultz, and the steps for this approach are as follows:

In the first step, attention is focused on providing a comfortable position for the patient to sit or lie down. With the accompanying poetic music, muscle and mental relaxation occurs, breathing is regular, and sometimes drowsiness follows.

The second step consists in directing the patient, while listening to music, towards focusing his mind on the right hand, then the left hand, and then moving the focus to the right foot, then the left, and then focus on the whole body.

At this stage, the person feels heat in the form of waves that permeate the body, and feels his ability to focus mentally towards the desired goal, without distraction, until he wakes up gradually and calmly by another type of music.

The exercises of this method contribute to the regulation of the heartbeat and breathing. In addition, the inhalation and exhalation become in a state of depth and regularity, in accordance with the best health and therapeutic methods.

Experts have called these “relaxation” (Détente) exercises, and they benefit not only patients, but also everyone who wants to feel completely relaxed after hard work or effort.