Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Health & Balance

Select An Article
Font Size

Topic Overview

What is music therapy?

Music therapy is the use of music to gain physical and emotional healing and wellness. A trained and certified music therapist, dance/movement therapist, or creative arts/expressive therapist can provide music therapy. Therapy sessions can involve listening to music, music-making, or both.

Research is beginning to reveal how music works to heal the body and mind.

Recommended Related to Mind, Body, Spirit

End-of-Life Care

Parents are partners with doctors in decisions about their child's end-of-life care. Even though new and better treatments have increased the chances of a cure or remission, some types of childhood cancer do not get better. When a child's cancer does not get better or comes back, parents may not be sure about whether to continue treatment and, if so, what kind. Parents who are caring for a child at the end of life need a lot of support that includes family members and the child's health care team...

Read the End-of-Life Care article > >

  • The rhythm and tone of music can excite you or relax you. Music therapy can help reduce your heart rate and blood pressure and increase your ability to think, learn, reason, and remember.
  • Music-making is a healthy way of expressing yourself.

What is music therapy used for?

You can use music therapy to help your mental and physical health. It helps people express themselves, find new memories, and calm the body and mind through its rhythm, order, and predictability. Music therapy is sometimes combined with movement therapies, such as dance.

Music therapy:

  • May improve forgetfulness (dementia) by:
    • Improving your connection to others.
    • Helping the brain produce a calming substance (melatonin).
    • Improving how well you speak.
    • Improving long-term and medium-term memory.
  • May help babies born too early to deal with necessary but painful procedures. Crying is often affected by music.
  • Is used to reduce the pain of cancer treatment.

Is music therapy safe?

Music therapy is considered safe.

Always tell your doctor if you are using an alternative therapy or if you are thinking about combining an alternative therapy with your conventional medical treatment. It may not be safe to forgo your conventional medical treatment and rely only on an alternative therapy.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: June 29, 2011
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
Next Article:

Today on WebMD

Hands breaking pencil in frustration
Quiz
Dark chocolate bars
Slideshow
 
puppy eating
Slideshow
concentration killers
Slideshow
 
man reading sticky notes
Quiz
worried kid
fitArticle
 
Hungover man
Slideshow
Woman opening window
Slideshow
 
Woman yawning
Health Check
Happy and sad faces
Quiz
 
brain food
Slideshow
laughing family
Quiz