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Catherine Clark
11/7 Discussion
Fri Nov 7, 2014 2:26pm
150.216.109.122

For my argument paper, I am going to write about the effectiveness of music therapy, and its role in helping people with mental diseases. I chose this topic because I believe strongly in music being a form of therapy, and not only in the sense that playing a certain song can put someone in a better mood. My mom came to ECU and earned her degree in music therapy, and for a while I thought that is what I wanted to do as well. (I am still studying music, just not music therapy). Anyway, from a young age I have been involved with music and have seen first hand the therapeutic characteristics it possesses. Years ago, my sisters and I would go to the nursing home where my grandma and great aunts lived and play our violins and sing to the elderly patients in the Alzheimer's unit. Some of the patients’ symptoms were so bad that they could not speak, or respond/react when they were spoken to, however when they heard music or were invited to sing along with us, they would light up, and react to us, in some cases even sing along. I also know of a girl who was in an accident as a child, and now as a teenager she has the brain development of a three year old. She is going through some music therapy sessions, where she is given instruments to play to help further develop her brain. Something as simple as playing the drums can spark something within her.

At this point, without having done much research, I obviously do not have much hard evidence that music therapy is an effective form of rehabilitation. Some counter arguments could potentially be that music cannot be proven as an actual therapy; that although it may be able to improve an individual’s mood, it cannot actually act as a treatment for certain diseases. However, there are documentations of cases where people with diseases such as down-syndrome, autism, and alzheimer’s have noticeably improved due to the work they have done with music therapists. Through my research, I hope to prove through these cases that music therapy can indeed help those with disabilities to the point where there are noticeable improvements.

Word Count: 375

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