Music therapy is a well-known treatment method in many countries. It is not very popular in our country. I sought the opinion of Dimitar Savov, who is not a doctor, but a musician. He graduated from "Music Pedagogy" in Plovdiv. He worked as a college and high school music teacher and played in a symphony orchestra. In an interesting way, he combines music with Yobol - a system of body exercises that he himself authored.
Do you have personal experience in music therapy, do your exercises with music in the background
I have shown some interest in music therapy, but only because of its connection to my profession as a musician - I have no personal experience. However, now I plan to go deeper because of the Yobol system I have created. Because in it, in addition to physical exercises for flexibility and tone, there are alternative methods for improving physical and spiritual he alth. Among them is music, but with a very modest place still, which will soon change.
Physical exercises (regardless of their type) are good to do with music in the background. This is not yet music therapy, but it is a way to help achieve the goals we are pursuing with the respective exercises. Of course, the musical background must necessarily correspond to the specifics of the exercises, which requires a preliminary selection of the music to obtain the desired effect.
You as a musician, not as a medical therapist, what would you recommend - classical music or something more modern
It will depend entirely on the type of exercises. It is preferable to use instrumental music because the lyrics can interfere with concentration. The other recommendations for the character of the music are:
- No sudden (startling) changes in tempo or force of performance.
- If it is associative, let it resemble quiet and pleasant sounds from nature.
- In terms of style, baroque music and some works of the classics and romantics are most suitable. So-called relaxing music, which is mostly electronic and often found on the Internet, can also be used.
Do you think listening to music with headphones in your ears interferes - i.e. is the music perceived equally well with headphones and without
Quality headphones have the advantage of putting us in the "perfect" listening spot as envisioned by the sound engineer of the recording. While in the concert hall (and especially in the stadium) few have the chance to fall into the zones in which all elements of the musical picture can be heard equally well. Another advantage is that headphones largely isolate us from the background noise that would prevent us from enjoying the music. However, this can turn from an advantage into a disadvantage. When driving, for example, using headphones would be dangerous and irresponsible.
The other danger is the high volume of sound, which can seriously damage our hearing if we often overdo it. However, this is not a specific disadvantage of headphones - many achieve this without a problem using powerful speakers at home or in the car, not to mention discos.
Do we have specialist music therapists
As far as I know, until recently there was nowhere in our country to acquire even a bachelor's degree in music therapy, although lectures are given in some universities. (If I am behind with the information, it will only make me happy.) We still have several specialists in this field who graduated abroad and quite a few specialists from related professions - musicians, psychologists, pedagogues, psychiatrists, who received additional training in some aspects of music therapy, such as that offered in the Bulgarian Association for Music Therapy.
Is there a universal music therapy - Mozart for headaches, Vivaldi for optimism and invigoration or something like that
I have come across claims that Mozart's music has a positive effect on all occasions. I love his music and I am convinced that it can be of benefit to many people with many ailments. However, is it possible for "all" people in "all" diseases, which would actually fit the definition of "universal"? Of course, the question is rhetorical, because it is clear that this simply cannot be reliably verified and proven.
Usually, musical works in healing practice are generally used in two directions - for relaxation or for activation. Here is a good selection made by Rositsa Hristova - music pedagogue and member of the Bulgarian Music Therapy Association:
Activating musical works: V. A. Mozart - the first and third movements of the piano sonatas and concertos, "Rondo" from "A Little Night Music", fragments from the opera "The Magic flute", P. J. Tchaikovsky - the w altzes from the ballets, "On a trio" from the piano cycle "The Seasons", part of the finale of the 4th symphony, M. Glinka - "Romance", A. Vivaldi - "Spring", L. Boccherini - "Minuet"
Relaxing pieces of music: J. S. Bach - Aria from Suite No. 3, Slow Movements from the Brandenburg Concertos, F. Schubert - "Ave Maria", Part II of 8 symphony, V. Bellini - Cavatina from the opera "Norma", A. Vivaldi - "Winter", L. V. Beethoven - the second movements of piano sonatas No. 8, 14, 23, P. Y. Tchaikovsky - Andante cantabile from 5 symphony, Piano Cycle "The Seasons" - "June" and "October".
How can a person choose the most suitable music for himself if he cannot consult a specialist - music therapist
If he is going to use it for treatment, it is good to consult. Music is a non-standard "medicine" and I have not heard talk of "contraindications" or "side effects" of a certain work, for example. But counseling is not only meant to protect us from harm, but also to ensure optimal performance. Otherwise, it's easiest to decide that only our favorite music is "appropriate", but if that was enough, we'd be he althy forever and without any therapists.
In fact, from everyone and everywhere we could borrow new means and methods that would be of real use to us, however unusual they may be at first glance. When it comes to something as important as our he alth, however, we generally shouldn't risk self-medication or trusting random sources. With music the dangers are least, indeed, but let us seek a qualified consultant always and for everything related to our he alth. And music therapy specialists in our country, however few there are, still exist. It is a matter of desire and persistence to see for yourself the correctness of the maxim "He who seeks - finds!".