Implications of Music in Clinical Settings

Therapists and physicians use music now in rehabilitation in ways that are not only backed up by clinical research findings but also supported by an understanding of some of the mechanisms of music and brain function. Music therapy is used, as it had been through the ages, to foster emotional expression and support; help build personal relationships; create and facilitate positive group behaviors; represent symbolically beliefs and ideas; and support other forms of learning (Janata 2002). In clinical settings, patients are instructed to listen to music or play it together with the therapists or other patients to build relationships, promote well-being, express feelings, and interact socially. Among the specific music therapies that are known these four are known to get the most attention.


This technique incorporates sustained periods of singing at various pitches to improve respiration, enhance relaxation, control pain, and enhance concentration.

Music Vibroacoustic Therapy

In this technique low frequency (30-120Hz) sounds are applied directly to the body which improves circulation in the body, relaxation, and pain reduction.


Music is matched to the physiological or psychological aspects of the patient. The music is then changed in the direction of the therapeutic goal.

Music-Elicited Imagery

Patients are instructed to listen to music in a calm state in order to produce spontaneous imagery related to the therapeutic goals. In most cases, this technique is used to enhance concentration and focus.

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