Music Therapy for Memory

Grace Auten

Why I have an interest in this topic

I have an interest in music therapy for memory because I believe music has a power over the mind that is hard to understand. Music has been known to help with depression, stress, autism, and even to help cope with cancer.


Our brains are conditioned to respond to and process music. Our bodies are trained to respond to and move to rhythm. Our bodies also physiologically respond to music; we attach to the emotion behind the song or beat. The brain associates the rhythms to memories. All of this basically means that our brains, since birth, have found a power in music that can not be expressed in just words.


Music therapy can include a variety of different things such as writing music, making music, dancing to music, or simply listening to songs. It is usually tailored to the patients emotions. Music therapy is also a way for patients to effectively express themselves when they can't in words.


A multi-site study showed that teens and young adults dealing with the effects of cancer regained coping skills after participating in music therapy with a certified music therapist. This is known as the SMART study and involved 11 sites with 49 board certified music therapists supporting the protocol.

By the way...

Music isn't only used to tap into emotions and memories of sick patients. Studies have shown that listening to music helps students to study. While it is true that results varied from student to student over whether a quiet environment or music was better for scores, the students that it did help were found to be less stressed and able to calmly study for longer periods of time.