Music Therapy

30/01/2011 00:19



Everyone has an inner rhythm, a sonic identity that differentiates other. 
Identify it and balance it are some procedures of music therapy which has been an alternative to working with children with mental deficiency.

The story goes that two thousand years before Christ, when the Emperor of China wondered to know how things were going in his provinces, he used to summon the musicians each 
one to play for him. And, according with music that was rocking his people, the emperor knew if they were going well not. In times of Internet, when this resource isn’t necessary any longer, in parallel  with the technological growth , the acceptance of alternative therapies increases , which enhances the emotional sense of each person.
Music Therapy, considered a paramedic science that studies the relationship of man with the sound / music, is one of those. “The physiological and psychological influences of the sound in the brain is beneficial to the person”, says Maristela Pires da Cruz Smith, Former President of
Apemesp (Associação dos Profissionais eEstudantes de Musicoterapia do Estado de São Paulo). 
Music Therapist, art educator with Major in music and MA in Psychology Social Raquel, she says the music itself is a therapy .According to her, the more common benefit and most easily understood is the feeling relaxation and well-being. “All people
 have a sound identity, a pulsating rhythm inside, a consequence of many sounds received by us. 
Music Therapy, through research on life and the environment in which the patient is inserted, seeks to identify and balance his / her internal rhythm, “to allow an improvement”, she explains. “A good example is what occurs with hyperactive children, often with a very accelerated internal rhythm. First, they are treated with music at their own pace, and then, slowly, they go in order to balance that sound”, Raquel explains. “As in any other therapeutic method, there is no deadline determined for the treatment, which will depend on the patient's response”, she emphasizes.

Among the many applications of Music Therapy, we highlight the work on patients with physical disabilities like paralysis and progressive muscular dystrophy. The sensory impairments (visual and auditory) and genetic syndromes (Down, Turner and Rett), also have this option as a complementary treatment. 
Neurological disorders (brain lesions, dyslexia, dysphonia and others) and mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, autism child depression and obsessive compulsive disorder can also benefit from this therapy. “Music Therapy can be applied since the intrauterine life because researches have proven that the fetus reacts to sound, and because it is encouraged since early age, be born with greater possibility to develop its potential”, says Raquel. 
The main researches on Music Therapy have been made in countries like the United States, France, Germany, Norway, Britain, Italy and Argentina, where the use of therapeutic music is widespread. 
Brazil in the last two years, the benefits of this therapy have been widely accepted by physical therapists, speech therapists and psychologists. 
Its application has especially been in organizations which work with mentally handicapped children, like Apae (Associação de Pais e Amigos dos Excepcionais) of Barueri. “This work began to be realized by one of our therapists  of children with mental, visual and auditory disabilities”.
“The results were encouraging. 
Therefore, we also switch to music when working with speech therapists”, underscores Giovanna Aparecida de Carvalho Sales, director of the entity. “The music relaxes and calms children. We’ll use the resources of Music Therapy to work on the process of language. The body awareness through dancing will also be part of the therapeutic process. Then, a child spends in contact with itself and the other is a way to integrate it in the environment”, the therapist Adriana F. Aquino de Souza, one of the responsible for the project drafting, adds.
In education, Music Therapy can assist in psychology development and dynamics of 
group in the classroom. 
It has been happening with students at Escola Municipal de Educação Especial of Barueri, focused on literacy for children and adolescents with mild and moderate mental retardation. Since early this year (2010), the discipline of music began to have Music Therapy resources. “I seek socializing the group through music. The response of children is an incredible thing. Within their abilities, they sing and dance”, Fernanda Rodrigues dos Santos, graduated in Art Education with major and Music and post-graduated in Music Therapy, explains.   

According to experts, Music Therapy is already also becoming popular as an alternative therapy 
in treatment of stress. 
The psychotherapist Adelina Rennó uses the resources of Music Therapy through singing in the therapeutic process of her patients. “I work the voice as an expression of personality. That’s through it we show who we are, many sometimes hide who we truly are”, she says. PhD in psychology and also with musical training, Adelina  was seeking to develop expertise 
sing therapy work in Germany. 
“Depending on the indication, I work with one or another therapy measure. There are cases where I use both of resources, since I believe they are complementary therapeutic process”, she ends.
Apart from the use of music as a therapy, there are currents of scholars that focus on curative actions of a given sound. 
In his book The Therapeutic Power of Music, the American Randall McClellan, the author deals with the effects of music on the individual as a whole. According to him, “All music can change somehow our consciousness. What is not yet been determined is what kind of music affects our consciousness and how, and particularly what kind of music is most useful for the cause most desirable states for healing purposes”. The McClellan's questions, Doctor of Philosophy in Musical compositions by the Eastman School of Music and also a graduate of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music, have been subjects of numerous studies conducted mainly in the United States. 
In Brazil, the interest in the subject is no less. 
According survey conducted by Apemesp ( the country has more than 3,000 professionals trained in Music Therapy. But that has not yet resulted in investment and research on the subject. 
The lack of data also bothers Luiz Roberto Perez, conducer formed by the School of Communication and the Arts USP (Universidade de São Paulo) and tireless scholar theme. 
“The effects of music on our balance and our emotional bodies are notorious. Besides the power healing, it also strengthens the body to act against diseases. But to get to this information we’d have people working on it, and unfortunately we don’t”, he says. 
Leading the choir he assembled in the neighborhood – at Bom Pastor Church  - the conducer always works on Music Therapy resources with his group. 
“Along the voice work, I apply some of the features of Music therapy, focused for relaxation and self-esteem. Good music will always have a beneficial nature”, Luiz says, for whom the greatest example is the Gregorian chant. “This song takes us to another dimension when we near a larger entity. And it always does 
hugely”,  he ends. 
'.... Every time a piece of music is played 
reborn to a new life somehow, and the 
each time it surrenders to the silence it dies 
another death. 
And every time we heard a musical
piece, we stood up and die again with 
it, because our music, like ourselves, 
is mortal and dies in the end, always waiting for 
rebirth. " 
(Robert Meagher (philosopher)). 

Evandro Carlos Braggio.

January, 2011.