What is music therapy?

Music therapy is a research-driven form of professional therapy recognized in over 40 countries. Music therapy can serve as a safe and comfortable form of treatment that fulfils both physical and mental needs – while also reducing reliance on medication (and risk of side effects). Treatment also helps those with speech and expression difficulties.

The field is growing in Hong Kong, and has a particularly strong background in Australia, USA, UK, and Canada.

The main music therapy techniques used in IMTC include music improvisation, creation, re-creation, and receptive methods – each provides its own unique advantages.

Historical highlights

Music has historically been used for therapeutic purposes in various civilizations before evolving into the modern and scientific form of therapy it is today.

What can it treat?

It is understood that, through music, some areas of the brain can be accessed and stimulated in ways not possible through other means. Most information is processed separately in different parts of the brain, but music stimuli tends to be processed through the whole brain.

Research shows that music can optimize brain functioning in a way that improves performance across an array of tasks (pertaining to cognitive, social, communication, physical, and emotional functioning). Studies show that people perform many of these tasks better with music than without. Research-driven parallels between non-musical functioning and music-assisted tasks provide a scientific rationale for the use of music in therapy.

  • Cognitive

    Music Therapy can help to develop, strengthen and maintain cognitive functioning in areas such as memory, language, attention and more.

  • Social

    Music Therapy can provide opportunities for learning and maintaining of social skills through non-verbal medium and encourage positive interactions among patients to manage anxiety, depression and improve well-being.

  • Communication

    Music Therapy allows for non-verbal means of communication as well as functional speech rehabilitation in patients with neurologic illnesses such as stroke through neurologic music therapy methods.

  • Physical

    Music Therapy uses music in a therapeutic way that stimulates motor parts of the brain which improves physical functioning. It also helps with pain relief for patients with certain illnesses or undergoing certain procedures.

  • Emotional

    Music Therapy provide opportunities for healthy self-expression using both verbal and non-verbal means which helps recovery of patients with mental illnesses. It also calms patients with conditions such as ASD and ADHD.

Conditions treated:

Music therapy can treat the following symptoms through methods that reduce anxiety, stabilize emotions, slow down brain deterioration, facilitate positive social interaction, enhance self-image, reduce stress, improve focus/concentration, improve physical functioning, adjust dopamine and cortisol release levels, and more. IMTC’s treatment methods are tailored to address the recipient’s unique needs and symptoms (for example, dementia treatment will focus more on slowing down brain deterioration). Needs are determined via a formal assessment as part of our standard treatment process.

・ Neonatal Care

・ Special Educational Needs (Developmental Delay, ADHD etc)

・ Autism Spectrum Disorder

・ Cancer Patients

・ Mental Illness (Schizophrenia, Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Addiction etc)

・ Stroke

・ Dementia (Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease etc)

・ Palliative Care