Music therapy: A powerful tool to heal oneself PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 23 September 2011 15:24

By SWEETIE DE LA TORRE

Wondering why you keep on listening and playing your favorite song especially when you’re mending a broken heart?

“Music provides the soundtrack of our lives. When we listen to music, it feels as if we’re not alone and that someone out there understands how we feel”, said Christopher Carandang, a psychologist and into music therapy, in a health forum on Tuesday at the Annabel’s in Quezon City.

In the forum entitled “Yes! Art will Heal You”, Carandang said that music therapy made a person better, accept and come to terms with his life’s up and downs.

This is why music therapy has proven to be successful in healing trauma, depression, grief and loss, Carandang said, also a part-time lecturer at the Psychology Department of the University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City.

Whatever types of music (like reggae, rock, pop, gospel, hip hop, heavy metal, country, heavy rock) would be beneficial to a person provided that he is able to express himself.

It doesn’t matter if you are singing out of tune or playing the guitar or piano in an unusual way, what is important is that you are allowed to explore and to express yourself, Carandang said.

Many of us may even enjoy going to a videoke place to sing with friends, while in other cases, we allow ourselves to tap our feet and dance to a certain beat, Carandang said.

Music therapy has also been used to help people who have been abused, children who have special needs, cancer patients and survivors, and many others, he said.
Music therapy is different to typical music education where there is right and wrong way of doing things.

Other than music therapy, indulging oneself or so-called expressive arts like painting, drawing, clay forming, writing poems, drama or even play, therapy helps in dealing one’s emotions, said Dr. Maria Lourdes Carandang, also psychologist, and mother of Christopher and Press Secretary Ricky Carandang.

In a study among families of OFWs in Metro Manila, particularly in Quezon City whose mothers went abroad, family members were found to have cope up with their sadness or longingness through arts, music and play.

“There are certain emotions or the darkest of our soul which are very difficult to express into words and that we express through the arts, play therapy,” Dr. Carandang said.

Singing, dancing,drawing, making of poems is one thing that is “pinoy na pinoy”, Carandang also said.

Carandang and her son, Christopher, are private practioners at MLAC (Ma. Lourdes A. Carandang) Institute for Children and Families,or into therapy treatment.