Desk of International and Social Affair
When do you usually listen to music? You may listen to music when you are gloomy, angry, or studying. Listening to music can be very relaxing. But it can also be very therapeutic. Do you know that listening to music can actually make diseases disappear?
Music is a common form of therapy when treating patients with chronic pain. A curer who use the music is music therapist. Music therapy is a treatment using music as the primary tool to help patients recover from a number of psychological disorders.
It creates a dynamic relationship between patient and therapist thus enacting changes in body, mind, and eventually, society. Music helps the patient express their subconscious that is not shown in everyday life. This form of therapy can be practiced very successfully in music therapy centers, mental hospitals, sanitariums, clinics, welfare facilities, retirement homes, and social homes.
The history of music therapy dates back to the age of Platon and was specialized after World War¥±to treat injured soldiers. The first department of music therapy was created in 1944 at the University of Michigan. In Korea, several graduate schools opened this course in 1997.
How to treat the patient.. .
The music therapist uses various kinds of music. They also use rock, dance, and jazz. There are several steps involved in treating a patient. The first step is to observe the patient and determine the underlying problem. After this is determined, a specific treatment plan is created. As these underlying issues surface, with the help of the therapist, the issues are healed, thus, eliminated. This course continues between 2 to 3 months. When the patient develops the ability to manage their own lives without the serious problems, the treatment is complete.
Music therapy is not simply listening to music but singing songs, composing music, discussing after listening to music, and meditating while listening to music.
The music makes social, and psychological changes so it can release the pain of childbirth, make a person immune to cancer, and can even be utilized by someone who needs emotional stability. People who have mental illness, emotional disorders, and even schizophrenia can benefit from this work. Any age from child to adult can participate in this therapy.
Common people get a treatment called GIM (Guided Imagery and Music). They listen to classical music, and find their inner worries. Then they recognize what was wrong and try to find the solutions.
I want to be a music therapist!!
There are two ways to be a music therapist. First, you have to graduate from the graduate school of music Therapy and fulfill the hours necessary for training. Majors are not important but music therapists usually major in education, and music. This training is only offered in graduate schools.
These schools include, Ewha Womans University, Sookmyung Women’s University, Hansei University and Myongji University. In Korea, there is no certificate for music therapy so you can only become a music therapist after obtaining your masters degree. You can go abroad for your masters degree, then, come back to Korea and begin your therapy practice. In American, there are 69 universities that offer this major.
The University of New York, and the University of Michigan are two examples. After completing the regular course of about 60 hours, you have to have clinical demonstration training. You can get a certificate when you pass an examination held by AMTA (American Music Therapy Association).
Two misunderstood things about music therapist
1. Do I have to be an accomplished musician and have much knowledge about music? No! The music is the instrument that helps the patient heal. To be a music therapist, it is very important to share each other’s feeling. However, it is essential for you to play the guitar and piano for treatment.
2. Is there special music for specific illnesses? No! Music therapy treats in accordance with the psychological and physical condition of each patient and every patient has different symptoms. So this is not true. There is no scientific data available stating what music should be used. It is completely up to the discretion of the treating therapist.
Until now, many people did not know about music therapists. (There are 80 qualified music therapists in Korea.) However, modern society is becoming more and more complex so the importance of good mental and physical health becomes more important than ever.
Music therapy functions as a good method to ease stress and become more productive in society. As stress increases in our society, so will the demand for music therapy. For more information, you can visit Korean Association for Clinical Music Therapists or Korean Music Therapy Association.
The reporter interviewed Jin So-young who is a music therapist at Sookmyung Women’s University Music Therapy Center.
Q 1. Whom do you usually heal, and is there anybody whom you particularly remember?
A 1: I really like children. So I heal children with Autism (a physically developmental disorder), ranging in age from 3 years old to 22 years old. I especially remember one child. He was really introverted and had no confidence in himself. He spoke no words, even to his teacher, all day long.
During the healing process, he slowly started to speak restoring his confidence, little by little. When he was fully recovered, he participated in a creative children’s song contest and placed second! I was so happy and fulfilled.
Q 2. Is it difficult being a music therapist?
A 2. I play piano and sing songs several hours a day, so I am a little tired physically. But I am not tired spiritually. I really like this job. Being a music therapist, I can understand others and at the same time, make myself a more optimistic person.
Q 3. Do you have any advice for those who want to be a music therapist?
A 3: First of all, you have to like music and people. Music is an essential part in healing the patient so you have to enjoy it. You also have to understand human nature and mix well with people. If you are interested in both these things, and have a desire to help people at the same time, it can be a really good job.
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