Music Therapy Goes Virtual in the Midst of the Pandemic
When the whole world is trying to counter and prevent themselves from the deadly Covid-19, music teachers and activists around the world are trying to heal children as well as elders by virtual music therapy.
Millions of people are going through a rough and depressive phase of their life due to the widespread coronavirus. People are not only fighting the deadly Covid-19, most of them are trying to fight depression and anxiety.
Medicines can’t treat what music therapy can do. One should never underestimate the power of music in all sense.
How the world is healing with virtual music therapy sessions.
This pandemic created a lot of tension and panic among people worldwide. Some seem to fight their existing diseases like dementia, alzeimers, depression and anxiety. Some are trying to improve their mental health as staying in homes for a longer time creates fuss among family members leading to anger, stress and anxiety.
Here are a few scenarios going around the world that could give you a sense of warmth and comfortability.
Children fighting anxiety with virtual music therapy led by Cambridge Coronavirus community fund
Children with low self -esteem and anxiety take the help of music to fight their fears and live life in joy.
The CHUMS Charity got a donation of £2,034 from the Cambridge Coronavirus Community Fund, being encouraged and supported by Cambridgeshire Live and Cambridge News, to help children stop suffering from low mental health with virtual(online) music programmes.
This charity is helping children as well as young people having mild to moderate mental health issues, such as low mood and anxiety and also those with significant emotional well-being issues from real life events such as bullying and distress.
Operational director of the charity, Debbie Robson said that the funding really helped the children pursue online music therapy with the help of mobile and tablets.
It is a 6 week programme for children aging 8 to 12 combining both music and cognitive behavioural therapy(CBT).
For those it is hard to play an instrument, they can play their phones like a keyboard with the help of an app. More than that the children have a worksheet that they work alongside, and speak to music therapists virtually.
The CBT is to put the children out of their thinking traps, where they tell themselves that everything is bad and getting worse.
It really seemed to have worked with people dealing with low self esteem and anxieties.
Children can continue these virtual music sessions, added the fund operational director even after the pandemic lifts, since children living in remote areas can also take part.
Virtual Music Therapy Group is a “lifeline” for people with dementia
Music therapy for people with dementia was stopped when the pandemic hit based in Saffron Walden, Essex but the good part is it moved to virtual music sessions.
One of the patients told BBC, “It is a lifeline, really. It’s just something to look forward to and we can’t wait for it to come”.
This music group is a tie-up between Saffron Hall Trust and Cambridge Institute for Music Therapy Research, at Anglia Ruskin University.
According to study, for an older person with dementia, a refreshing rendition of big band music could trigger some memories. And moreover when the person sings or claps along, the brain connection gets even stronger.
At Arizona State University, an associate professor of music therapies in the School of Music, Melita Belgrave helped her students create virtual music sessions.
In the spring course they came up with videos that were put to use by senior centers in the valley. The student group carried out various activities with a theme of “around the world” such as teaching how to make rhythms with ordinary things like a plastic container filled with noodles and also taught other interactive movements. The clients watched the videos at home and family members can guide with the activities.
The students also meshed out on Zoom platform with adult client members having traumatic brain injuries.
Just think how engaging and helpful it is to serve 100 people a day, with their social interactions and activities changing every 30 minutes so they become fast paced.
Music therapists use different techniques to reinforce the desired outcomes. Along with that the students kept a notice of how their patient clients responded to various interventions.
Virtual misc therapy is so new that there ain’t much research on the same and maybe won’t work for everyone or in every setting, but it could help at least those who could connect to it, Belgrave added.
On the other hand at Gillette’s Children Speciality Healthcare, they have been using music therapy for years to cope with grief, stress and anxiety, but due to the Covid-19 outbreak it was cancelled by the hospital safety authority.
But a certified music therapist at Gillette Heath Marvel didn’t give up and launched live Facebook sessions every wednesday as a part of his new experiment.
This helped the patients to lessen down stress and anxiety by playing interactive games and involve in other mind enhancing activities.
Marvel also added, “it is very meaningful to all the people, connecting to the aspects of their health, to their social-emotional as well as their cognitive health”.
In general, music therapists see only 10-15 patients max a day at the hospital, but these virtual sessions helped them reach as many as 34,000 in only one session.
And that is extraordinarily amazing…
The world has always seen how music can bring happiness and help you keep stress away. We should all be thankful to those still trying to make a change and help people in difficulties spend life full of joy and stressless. People that face difficulties like dementia, alzeimers,anxiety and depression seem to have their Covid days sorted with good people around them and more specially the virtual music therapists.
Billy Boissoneault has been a music enthusiast and professional instrumentalist for the last 20 years based in Edmonton, Canada with having 26,000 lessons taught. He owns a music blog that runs on the name of the Guitar Instructor. Billy provides guitar lessons in Edmonton for all ages and abilities both online and offline.