Music therapy has its roots in ancient times. Ancient Greek philosophers documented the use of music as a therapeutic tool, applied it systematically, and documented the various effects of music on physical health and mental state. “Music is powerful because it imitates the movements of the soul,” Damon of Athens, a fifth-century BC music theorist and one of Socrates’ teachers, said. Platonic mythology describes Dionysus and his talk about the power of music and its guidance through appropriate rituals, to what the ancient Greeks called catharsis and soul purification .
People’s understanding of how music affects human health has evolved over time. Music therapy methods have also been developed and documented in accordance with the principles of modern scientific research. Many music therapy studies  discuss the efficacy of this therapy. Music therapy is now a recognised profession in some countries around the world.
Music therapy is defined by the Association of Music Therapists USA as the clinical, evidence-based use of musical interventions to achieve individualised health care and educational goals within a therapeutic relationship between a patient and a recognized, licenced music therapist. Music therapy is a professional-led, systematic, organized, and purposeful process. This process entails assessing the child’s (or adult’s) needs and establishing clear and measurable treatment goals.
Usages of Music Therapy
Music is used in the treatment and rehabilitation of children with various developmental disorders, depending on their health needs. It can be used in the development of fine and joint motor skills, emotion and perception regulation, focusing, developing independence and self-expression, enhancing and developing speech, developing social skills, and other activities. Music assists the child in realising his needs and overcoming his fears. This contributes to the child’s inner balance with their surroundings. It is also an important means of strengthening the relationship between the therapist and the child, and it plays an important role in maintaining the individual’s physical and mental health.
Making music, writing songs, singing, dancing, listening to music, and discussing music are all forms of music therapy.
One of the things that makes music therapy accessible is that there are no age or ability restrictions for children. Furthermore, the child is not required to know the musical notes. Musical knowledge is not required for the process. Rather, it is predicated on the assumption that every child, like an adult, is capable of responding to and being affected by it. Music is one of the first experiences that everyone has in their lives. The child and mother communicate first through sound, tones, or musical elements, and then through words.
Within a music enabled room like a sensory room, children become quickly involved in spontaneous activities and games. Music encourages children to participate in more individual and group activities. Playing or tapping with the hands, as well as interacting with any instrument that makes sounds, assists children in learning to coordinate movement between their hands and hearing for different tones. It gradually becomes a snug fit around the ear. This aids in the rapid establishment of a therapeutic relationship, which is later used to reinforce and develop verbal skills. As a result, this type of therapy is always recommended, especially for those who have difficulty speaking. This treatment is also used with children who have developmental issues because it is easier and more acceptable than verbal communication because music is clearer than words in communication.
Benefits of Music Therapy
Because music therapy can be highly personalized, it is appropriate for people of all ages — even very young children can benefit from it. They are also very adaptable, benefiting people with varying levels of musical experience as well as those with various psychological or physical challenges.
Music therapy can benefit:
- Memory, emotions, movement, sensory relay, and some autonomic functions, decision-making, and reward are all affected by activation of brain regions. 
- Groups meeting social needs 
- Heart rate and blood pressure are reduced .
- Endorphin secretion during muscle relaxation 
- Reduce stress and increase feelings of calm.
- Improve communication and motor skills in children with developmental and/or learning disabilities. 
- In rehabilitative sessions, music is a low-cost intervention.
Musical activities include playing various instruments, singing, dancing, and listening to stories. It is used to either calm the child or to stimulate his movement and perception, as well as to improve his mood. The session is led by the therapist, who allows the child to get whatever he wants from the musical instruments in a semi-coordinated manner. The therapist encourages the child to freely express himself. The child then motivates him through movements, sounds, and exercises to achieve the session’s goal.
- Music therapy in Ancient Greece
- Impact of Muzic Therapy to Promote Positive Parenting and Child Development
- Muzic therapy for children with autism: investigating social behaviour through music
- Music Therapy and Music Medicine for Children and Adolescents
- American Music Therapy Association (AMTA). Music therapy with specific populations: Fact sheets, resources & bibliographies.
- Altenmüller E, Schlaug G. Apollo’s gift: New aspects of neurologic music therapy. Prog Brain Res. 2015;217:237-252. doi:10.1016/bs.pbr.2014.11.029
- Werner J, Wosch T, Gold C. Effectiveness of group music therapy versus recreational group singing for depressive symptoms of elderly nursing home residents: Pragmatic trial. Aging Ment Health. 2017;21(2):147-155. doi:10.1080/13607863.2015.1093599
- Dunbar RIM, Kaskatis K, MacDonald I, Barra V. Performance of music elevates pain threshold and positive affect: Implications for the evolutionary function of music. Evol Psychol. 2012;10(4):147470491201000420. doi:10.1177/147470491201000403
- Pavlicevic M, O’neil N, Powell H, Jones O, Sampathianaki E. Making music, making friends: Long-term music therapy with young adults with severe learning disabilities. J Intellect Disabil. 2014;18(1):5-19. doi:10.1177/1744629513511354
- Chang YS, Chu H, Yang CY, et al. The efficacy of music therapy for people with dementia: A meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. J Clin Nurs. 2015;24(23-24):3425-40. doi:10.1111/jocn.12976