Publication Date

Spring 2006


Counseling Psychology


Music has a vast influence over the nations and peoples on this planet. It has been used in every culture, and is often connected with anxiolytic and analgesic properties. Today it is used in many hospitals to help patients relax and help relieve or ease pain, confusion and anxiety. Music is also commonly used in counseling. Music therapy techniques may include guided listening or improvisational playing and are used within the context of many theories, and for many types of mental disorders, from depression to schizophrenia. Many of the healing qualities of music in counseling are connected to its use as a nonverbal medium for communication. Music is read differently in the brain than nonmusical tones and is connected to many different areas of the brain. Learning music relegates a larger part of the brain to recognizing and interpreting music. Listening to music has also been found to have an effect on learning. A survey studying the difference in GPA between students who listen to music while studying and those who do not finds no overall significant difference, but does find that students who listen to hiphop and rap while studying score significantly lower while students who listen to easy listening and classical are likely to have higher GPAs.