This article appears on the website of the College of Medicine and Integrated Health.
Dr Simon Procter is Director of Music Services for music therapy charity Nordoff Robbins. Here, he explains the social value of music…
“For many people who face health problems or social exclusion, music can be a crucial means of self-expression, experiencing their abilities and making a positive contribution to society, via meaningful interactions with others.
As the UK’s largest music therapy charity, Nordoff Robbins supports the most vulnerable members of our society with music therapy, including people affected by disability, isolation or life-limiting illness: thus, we are privileged to see the social value of music every day.
Music therapy can be a life-enhancing intervention in health and care settings, and a growing body of evidence supports its effectiveness in achieving individual health outcomes in neuro-rehabilitation, dementia care, autism and psychiatric services.
Music therapy can facilitate physical and emotional wellbeing, whilst improving cognitive functioning, motor skills, communication and emotional development. The arts therapies are proven to alleviate anxiety, depression and stress while increasing resilience and wellbeing.
But for most of the people we work with, the benefits of music are fundamentally social. Skillfully crafted musical opportunities enable people who may find social interaction highly challenging to flourish alongside others in ways that words don’t permit …”
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