Media Reviews Music Therapy

Clinical Research on Depression and Anxiety

A few days ago I shared with you a video of pop star Katy Perry singing with and being accompanied by a young girl with autism.

Today I wanted to share something that appeals also to my analytical side. Don’t want to read the whole abstract? Here’s the upshot — Researchers in Finland found that with 79 participants after three months of treatment, their depressed and anxious patients improved in their symptom management through music therapy. More specifically, “Verbal reflection and improvising on emotions in MT may induce neural reorganization in fronto-temporal areas. Alpha and theta changes in fronto-temporal and temporoparietal areas indicate MT action and treatment effects on cortical activity in depression, suggesting an impact of MT on anxiety reduction.” Here’s a link to the whole she-bang if you are interested.

Here’s my take on this. The fronto-temporal regions are where our everyday thinking and reasoning skills come from; as well as some music and speech skills. Music also taps into a part of the brain that is “older” or develops in us earlier, and connects quickly to our emotion centers. So verbal therapy is great for these fronto-temporal decision making skills and areas of reason, for gaining insights — adding music making to the mix and getting to the deeper levels where emotion is accessed sometimes quickly, is a great pairing for verbal therapies.

I hope you enjoy the scholarly article. As Michelle Shocked said, keep on rockin’. Thanks for visiting.

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