Mental Health

How Does Music Therapy Affect the Brain

How Does Music Therapy Affect The Brain

If you have ever felt that music heals your soul, you might just be right!

Music does more than just sounding good to the ears. Research has successfully proven that music can improve the progression of several conditions. Employed in its full potential, one day it might be able to work as a standalone cure to various diseases. The best thing about this therapy is that it has no side effects at all.

But how does music therapy affect the brain? Here’s all that you need to know about this revolutionary course of treatment.

What Is Music Therapy?

Music therapy is a course of treatment performed by a trained and certified music therapist with the aim to aid patients overcome the impairments of their cognitive, sensory or motor functions.

With the help of the right kind of music, the therapy sessions are aimed to manipulate the necessary musical elements in order to help bring about a wide variety of emotions in a patient which are designed to propel him or her to achieve the desired physical, communication, cognitive and emotional goals.

What Can Music Therapy Treat?

Unlike a particular medication, music therapy is a versatile treatment. With the help of various kinds of music, a licensed music therapist produces the desired actions in the patient.

Music therapy can be used to heal patients who are suffering from mental health issues like depression or PTSD, impairment of cognitive or motor faculties, degenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, etc. It can also be used to treat children with short memory spans, ADHD, trauma, etc.

Music therapy can be used to bring about various kinds of benefits in patients. There is no fixed set of music that works universally for every patient. This does pose a challenge but also makes the results extremely effective.

Soothe Nerves

Music has a significant soothing impact on the nerves. Therefore, it can be used to effectively help patients who suffer from social anxiety, panic attacks, mania, trauma, etc. It can also help children with ADD and ADHD improve their attention and concentration span. It can bring about a desired calming effect and make the treatment of the conditions more effective.

Improve Memory and Cognition

Music helps in improving concentration, focus and building associations which are responsible for improving memory. These associations also useful in improving cognition. This is particularly useful for geriatric patients suffering from degenerative memory conditions.

Help in Overcoming Mental Health Problems

Music is a great way of bringing out emotions that are otherwise difficult to arouse with therapy and treatment. With the help of music therapy, it is actually possible to help a person let go of their repressed pain, trauma, anger or negative emotions and help improve their mental health.

Improve Speech Functions

Often certain traumas and brain injuries leave a negative impact on the speech centers of the brain, thus affecting its function. Music forms verbal associations in the mind with the rhythm which can help restore speech functions in the patient.


Wrapping up, our exploration of how music therapy affects the brain reveals its profound impact. Understanding how this therapy affects cognitive, emotional, and physical functions through music’s emotive power showcases its remarkable potential for effective, side-effect-free care. From soothing nerves to aiding memory, speech recovery, and addressing mental health, this approach paves the way for a future where music becomes a fundamental component in treating various conditions.

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Dr. Jade Marie Tomaszewski is a pathologist-in-training at McGill University, where she also did her degree in MSc Pathology. She obtained her medical degree (MD) from the University of the Philippines, after completing a BSc in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology. In her (little) spare time, she enjoys spending time with family, curling up with a book and a large mug of tea, and trying out new recipes in the kitchen. You can follow her on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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