Throughout Scripture we see reference after reference to music and its application. The significance of the instruments
and music used as a call of worship can
be seen in the Old Testament. References are made to the soothing aspects of
music when we read passages telling of
David and his lyre. And, we see music as
worship and personal expression in the
book of Psalms.
Music is a language that can be expressed both with and without words.
It can bring associations of pleasant and
unpleasant experiences. It can provide
a rhythm to our very days. Some of the
most beautiful music is found in the
sounds of nature as God created.
So is music intended just for our pleasure? For worship? For self-expression?
Can its power be used in achieving far
What is Music Therapy?
greater effects than just its beauty? As a
trained music therapist, I can most defi-
nitely give a resounding “Yes” with the
intensity of clashing cymbals!
Music therapy is the use of music to
help accomplish things outside of music.
What, you might be asking? Music is a
common language and can be applicable
to everyone. Even the deaf can respond
to the vibrations of music. So, music
therapy is the use of music as a tool to
help an individual achieve other goals in
their life. Let me share some examples
For a time, I worked in a school for
children with cerebral palsy. Many of
these children were challenged in their
fine motor skills which meant difficul-
ties in feeding and dressing themselves.
If a child came to me with a goal of
learning to feed himself with a spoon,
I would develop drum activities that
we could enjoy in a playful manner.
Why drum activities? The grasp that a
child uses in holding a drum mallet can
mimic the grasp used in maneuvering
a spoon when eating. We could put on
fun rhythmic music and just play the
drums. The child had fun and didn’t
even realize that he was practicing and
strengthening a skill that seemed over-
whelming when done repeatedly with
the occupational therapist.
I am sure that many of you, if not
all, have experienced the calming and
grounding effects of music after a crazy
day. Music by its very nature is a struc-
tured work. For this reason, classical mu-
sic compositions can be used effectively
as background music to help children
with ADHD or other attention disor-
ders to organize their thoughts and fo-
cus while doing their schoolwork. This is
by Dawn Oaks
is More than
a Song in
compositions can be
used as background
music to help children