Music as Medicine
Philosophers, wise men, and physicians have long known that music holds healing powers. Plato in The Republic wrote: “Musical training is a more potent instrument than any other, because rhythm and harmony find their way into the inward places of the soul.” The British neurologist, naturalist, and writer Oliver Sacks commented: “The power of music to integrate and cure is quite fundamental. It is the profoundest non-chemical medication.”
Music as a method of therapy is recognized for treating physical and psychological ailments to improve health. Individuals of all ages benefit from restorative music as it aids in the rehabilitation of a variety of conditions. Research shows that music therapy can improve a patient’s mood, decrease depression, reduce anxiety, build self-esteem, support physical exercise and facilitate other health-related and wellness activities.
Pacific Symphony’s Heartstrings program provides customized musical experiences through its Music & Wellness programs that include “Sound Beginnings” Parent & Baby Workshops, Sensory Friendly Interactive Concerts, and Symphony Serenades.
Symphony magazine, published by the League of American Orchestras, just published an article titled “Music as Medicine” reporting on how musicians, music therapists, and scientists are using music to improve the lives of people with cognitive decline, dementia, and Alzheimer’s. Pacific Symphony’s Music and Wellness program ably led by Mary Hawkes was featured in the article alongside Kennedy Center’s program “Sound Health: Music and the Mind.”