I love music therapy. A day without music for me is akin to a bird without wings in that I fail to take flight. CNN has reported that researchers now say singing or playing music can be “empowering” for patients who feel victimized by cancer.
“I strongly believe that the beauty of music can bring renewed hope for patients and their loved ones and can energize them,” says lead researcher Joke Bradt, Ph.D., an associate professor of creative arts therapies at Drexel University, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
To see what broad conclusions might be drawn from this research, Bradt and her colleagues systematically reviewed 30 studies that included 1,891 adults and children with cancer. The results were published in the Cochrane Library.
Bradt says there isn’t enough evidence to determine what type of music intervention was most effective. She believes, however, that therapies involving music are likely to be most successful when they are tailored for people according to their musical tastes and their ability to participate in music-making.
Robert Zatorre, Ph.D., a cognitive neuroscientist at McGill University, in Montreal, who studies the effect of music on the brain, says that musical qualities like tempo and volume will also likely impact a patient’s mood and stress levels.