Music is the instrumental sounds or vocal (or both) that is combined in such a way that it produces a beautiful tune, rhythm, harmony, and expression of emotion. Music is of different types as every artist has the freedom to sing using the most preferred genre. The latter is in the sense that there are musicians who prefer fast-paced songs and others would prefer cool music, and other slow-motioned music (In Wheeler, 2015). However, despite the genre that each and every artist opts to work with, music has been considered to be therapeutic in nature. The latter is in the sense that it helps individuals to relax and also when dancing to the tunes to engage in physical activities that assist the body of a person to be healthier and more fit. One type of music is the Electronic Dance Music (EDM). This is the music that is played in night clubs, festivals, and raves.
The EDM music is generally produced for playback by the disc jockeys (DJ’s) who selects the tracks to play which are also known as the mix. This type of music allows a segueing from a particular’s artist record to another. EDM DJ’s also during concerts and festivals performs their music live which is also known as the live PA and the audience dances to the tunes. The EDM has been used as a music therapy to help people with emotional, aesthetic, mental, spiritual, social, and physical health problem. In the music industry, there are different music therapy approaches. This paper shall focus on analytical music therapy (AMT) and Bonny method of guided imagery and music therapy (GIM) where the primary focus shall be on the establishment of characteristics for the two approaches. Further, the essay shall feature a detailed comparison of the differences and similarities between the two music therapy approaches.
According to the analytical music therapy (AMT) which originated from psychoanalysis and focuses on developmental psychological and communication theories, when a person is allowed to express oneself freely through sounds, one gets into a situation where he/she can be aware of memories, problems, thoughts, feelings, and difficulties. This type of music therapy approach has numerous characteristics, and they include;
- Music captivates and maintains attention, and this means that music can stimulate and utilize many parts of the brain
- Music is easily adapted to by a person with health problem and plays a significant role reviving the person’s lost abilities
- Music is a useful memory aid that helps the person to remember all the lost memories and hence works well for patients with memory issues
- Music encourages and supports body movement
- Music taps emotions and memories
Bonny method of guided imagery and music therapy (GIM) is an approach that explores how music is related to a person’s consciousness (Bunt, &Stige, 2014). The founder of the approach Helen L. Bonny combines relaxation techniques with classical music to promote transcendental self-awareness and also harmonize the person’s mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. According to the approach, when music is put and played in a sequence like it is the case with the electronic dance music, it maintains a dynamic unfolding of imagery experiences. The GIM has numerous characteristics, and they include;
- Music structure the human mind in a way that it cannot be easily understood.
- Music possesses the ability to provide a meaningful and enjoyable context for repetition
- Music can provide a social context, and this means that music establishes a safe and well-structured setting that makes any unhealthy or healthy person comfortable to communicate verbally or non-verbally
- Despite a person not being in a verbal situation, music helps the person to provide instant feedback.
- Music is success oriented, and this means that people of all ability and levels are in a position to participate.
Similarities and differences between AMT and GIM
Both AMT and GIM music approaches are similar in the sense that they were both invented by single individuals with the collaboration and support of other persons. Secondly, both music therapy approaches were developed pragmatically out of practice. This means that the individuals who invented the two music therapy approaches were not designed because the individuals had an experience or were practicing nursing but in different ways were able to realize that music was entirely therapeutic (Tomlinson, Derrington, & Oldfield, 2011). Thirdly, both models took advantage of intrinsic qualities of music and musical experiences that people, especially with health challenges, were experiencing to manifest. On a fourth note, both musical therapies approach developers used different novel concepts that originated from their specific clinical experiences as musical therapists. Additionally, both approaches have specific clinical practices that define each of the approaches. For the approaches to work, the music played must be carefully selected so that they can make a positive impact on the patient. This means that the DJ playing the music has to be considerate of the music that he/she is playing as it has to align with the patient’s age. Lastly, both approaches are applied the same to people in need of music therapy, and the outcome is similar. The latter is in the sense that for both approaches to work, the patient has to be subjected to a sequence of the music of mix music and this means that the genres are mixed and with time, the patient starts to respond.
AMT is different from GIM because AMT is developed from a psychological point of view while as GIM is developed from a musical point of view. The latter is in the sense that for the AMT approach to be developed a psychological analysis was conducted from mentally ill people and their reaction to music. On the other hand, the developers of GIM focused into relaxation and how it is connected to music (Aldridge, &Fachner, 2010). The latter is in the sense that Helen Bonny shared a feeling that by just listening to music continuously like it is the case with EDM, a person’s consciousness is aroused, and this has a positive impact on a person’s emotions, memory, physical, and spiritual health. The two approaches are different because the patient responds differently to the sequenced music played. The reason is that for the AMT approach the patient starts to become aware of what is happening and starts to improve psychologically, emotionally, and physically. On the other hand, GIM makes the patient be able to imagine things, and this helps the patient to relax.
The points suggested in the thesis and paper is of great importance. The reason is that music therapy is one of the most effective and cheap ways that offers needed treatment to patients suffering from different health issues (MacDonald, 2013). Music therapy is easily affordable and handles health issues without selecting. Any person that is suffering from; mental, spiritual, physical, or emotional challenges can be helped to recover through music therapy. This information is of great importance because it is an approach that can help the big number of people suffering from different health issues. Moreover, for the approach to be applicable one does not need to have a DJ because any person can play sequence music and observe the patient to be able to determine the kind of music that is making the patient respond.
People from any location can use this information and this means that the patient does not necessary have to be under the care of a therapist. The latter means that the approaches are highly effective, affordable, and easily accessible to all people around the world regardless of their age, gender, culture, economic and social background (In Wheeler, 2015). The reason is that the person does not necessary have to be critically ill because even healthy people can dance to the rhythms of electronic dance music just for the purpose of relaxing and keeping physically fit. Notably, even though the approaches have some difference, the fact is that they have been proved to have a positive impact on any patient. What is necessary is for the people to understand both music therapy approaches and also how to play the electronic dance music so that they can apply the music to the individual in need of music therapy.
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Aldridge, D., &Fachner, J. (2010). Music therapy and addictions. London: Jessica Kingsley.
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Bunt, L., &Stige, B. (2014). Music therapy: An art beyond words. Routledge
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In Wheeler, B. L. (2015). Music therapy handbook. New York; London: The Guilford Press,
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MacDonald, R. A. (2013). Music, health, and well-being: a review. International journal of qualitative studies on health and well-being, 8
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Tomlinson, J., Derrington, P., & Oldfield, A. (2011). Music Therapy in Schools: Working with Children of All Ages in Mainstream and Special Education. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
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