Calm a fussy baby with a lullaby. Set the tone of your party with hip-hop, jazz, or rock. Turn on a little Tony Bennett or Frank Sinatra to spark old memories in a senior person with dementia.

Music is powerful. Our lives would be pretty solemn without it. Can you imagine television shows, movies, or church services without music? And concerts of all types offer great entertainment at any age.

I appreciate an eclectic array of music genres – blues, classical, rock, contemporary, cultural. I enjoy different types when doing different activities. Rock keeps me awake and alert while driving but classical  prompts creativity and calm, clear thinking when writing.

Music has been used therapeutically for centuries. It’s been known to affectively treat or aid a number of mood and psychological disorders. Several universities offer degrees in music therapy. They combine a student’s love of music and a compassionate nature with a goal in improving a client’s quality of life.

One specific type of music therapy is Guided Imagery and Music. GMI is a technique using music to induce an altered state of mind. Once in this state, the images experienced are shared with the guide to facilitate a holistic approach to healing, growth, and transformation.

If you’re feeling down these cold, dreary days, put on some happy music. It’s not a week on a Caribbean beach but it will improve your mood.

©2014, Mary K. Doyle

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