DIGITAL EXCLUSIVE: Music therapy

Digital Exclusive

Music has the power to entertain us, connect us, and heal us. Music therapy combines these benefits to help us heal and cope.

“All the goals that an OT or an RT or any sort of other therapist would use or have, we would create our own and we’re using music to achieve them,” said Ava Olin, a music therapist at St. Peter Regional Treatment Center.

Music adds so much to life and can bring significant benefits to therapy.

“Everything we do in music therapy is to aid the other therapies because we have music as the tool. When you walk in with a guitar, you get a much better reaction than to someone who’s walking in with a chart or something else… We can just enhance that a little bit by using our music,” said Olin.

Music therapy can be used for a wide variety of treatments to enhance life.

“For my patients specifically, I focus on coping skills. I focus on self care. I do a music therapy dealing with substance use as well, those kind of groups,” said Olin.

One tool that Olin uses that can be used during quarantine is called lyric analysis.

“Something like ‘Getting Better’ by The Beatles, or ‘I Won’t Back Down’ by Tom Petty. Sing through it. Discuss the lyrics. And then do either a complete rewrite of it where we insert our own problems and our own ways to cope with it. Or depending on the skill level kind of like a fill in the blank,” she said.

Music has healing powers and can help during this stressful time.

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