If your child or someone you know is in the hospital fighting cancer or any other ailment, music therapy is an incredible treatment option. Along with traditional treatment plans, music therapy offers benefits for physical and mental health. Music therapy is used to aid in physical discomfort by improving respiration, lowering blood pressure, improved cardiac output, reduced heart rate and relaxed muscle tension. For mental health, this form of therapy is great for reducing stress’ common negative side effects, such as emotional and behavioral problems. Through engaging with instruments or listening to their favorite songs and artists, music calms patients and can even help them recover from surgery more smoothly.
5 Must Read Music Therapy Books
If you are interested in learning more about music therapy than what we have provided in previous blog posts such as The Science of Music Therapy and What is Music Therapy for Kids, books offer a great wealth of more in-depth information and anecdotes on what this therapy can provide for patients and their families. Books on the topic are also great sources for those who are interested in becoming a certified music therapist; offering insight to the ups and the downs of the industry, the evolving science and what one can expect to achieve.
We have compiled a list of five books anyone can read and will enjoy, even without a degree in music or psychology.
- The Music Therapy Profession: Inspiring Health, Wellness, and Joy. By Christine Korb
According to book reviews, if you are considering a career in music therapy this is a must read, however it is also enjoyable by people who are interested in the field of music therapy, such as patients and parents of patients.
“Christine Korb is a brilliant teacher; her love for this therapeutic process shines through her writing and her clarity makes it a fascinating read whether you are interested in becoming a therapist or are just interested in what music therapy is.” – Ymzadi, Amazon Reviewer
Author and certified music therapist, Christine Korb, provides insightful information on the education and experiences of music therapists. The book includes personal accounts from students and certified music therapists on an education journey to achieve success.
This book is available on Amazon to purchase as a paperback as well as downloadable on a Kindle device or app.
- Music Medicine: The Science and Spirit of Healing Yourself with Sound. By Christine Stevens
This is a perfect read for anyone interested in how music affects our mind, body and spirit, as well as how to incorporate the power of this amazing art in their life. You don’t need to be a student or certified in music therapy to enjoy Music Medicine and what it has to offer. The author, Christine Stevens, is certified in music therapy and has created this book to help people embrace the music that already lives inside each of us.
“Even though music is already in you, this book is a guide to remembering, reconnecting and discovering the healing benefits of sound.” – Christine Stevens MSW MT-BC
If you’re a parent or close to someone who is undergoing medical treatment with or without music therapy, this book makes an excellent bridge to incorporate the healing power of music in everyday life at home. It is available on Amazon as a Kindle edition or to purchase as a paper back.
- How Music Works: The Science and Psychology of Beautiful Sounds, from Beethoven to the Beatles and Beyond. By John Powell.
This is an easy to read and accessible book on the science behind music, ranging from classical to modern and how the sounds translate in our brain and body, broken down in a way that anyone can understand. It is a perfect blend of humor and science. One of the many happy owners of How Music Works had this to say:
“This book explains everything you might ever have wondered about music and what makes it music as opposed to mere sounds. The book requires no prior knowledge of music or music theory, or even how to read music, but it is probably only for those seriously interested in ‘how music works.’ Mr. Powell presents, in a clear and humorous book, an explanation of just about everything you could imagine concerning the topic of music and music perception. For example, he gives a brief history of the difficulty in designing musical instruments so that not only do they sound good but allow a transposition from key to key known as ‘well tempered’ (think of Bach’s ‘Well Tempered Clavier’). Powell also delves into the psychology of music and sound perception showing us for example, that humans don’t perceive loudness linearly – the old Weber-Fechner Law from psycho-physics. Powell explains why some music sounds sad and some happy and…gives examples from popular to classical works. I loved this book and plan on using it as a supplement in one of my psychology courses on motivation, but as I said at the beginning, I think you really should have a burning curiosity about the working of music to stick with the book even as well written as it is. But if you do love music and want to really learn more about it, this is a 5-star place to learn.” – David Mac Ewen
You can purchase this book on a device with Kindle, as a hardcover or as a paperback on Amazon.
- This is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession. By Daniel Levetin.
This number one best-selling book on Amazon in the category of Physics of Acoustics and Sound is all about the nature of music and how it affects us so deeply. It’s great for parents of children attending music therapy sessions as part of their treatment plan, and who want to thoroughly understand the primitive underlying of our being that makes their child’s treatment so effective. It is also useful for music therapists, students of music therapy and those who are interested in the industry to gain a deeper insight to the draw of music on our nature. As a top rated book there are many reviews, but this one sums up the work perfectly.
“This is a fun read for waiting rooms, the beach or bus trips, to carry around in your purse or pack. Delightful descriptions of music and peoples’ relationship to music. One doesn’t need to be any manner of expert to read and enjoy it. Also, it’s repeatedly dip-able, just any place. Quite enjoyable and very clear. Explains all that ‘mysterious stuff’ about music, about which one could never quite get a clear picture.” – An Amazon Customer
This book is available on Amazon in multiple forms including Kindle E-book, paperback and hardcover.
- Tune In: A Music Therapy Approach to Life: Use Music Intentionally to Curb Stress, Boost Morale, and Restore Health. By Jennifer Buchanan.
Certified Music Therapist, Jennifer Buchanan, is highly respected in the field of music therapy and has earned many honors throughout her career. In this informative but simple to understand book, she helps the reader master the ability to use music as tool for dealing with the struggles life presents. This book is beneficial for parents of children undergoing medical treatments as it teaches musical techniques to deal with stress and anxiety of both the patients and the parents that often accompany treatments.
Doctor Jacqueline Peters left this insightful review of the book and how it can be used in the lives of people outside of clinical treatment.
“‘Tune In’ is a delightful book that uses powerful stories to illustrate the opportunity to use music not just for entertainment, but also for stress reduction and health. Jennifer is a thought leader in the music therapy world and she brings her experience and wisdom to this book in an enjoyable way. What a pleasure to read a book that not only teaches; it inspires and engages the reader to listen to music with new ears, and enhances the value and benefits we enjoy from an activity that most of us do daily anyways. I have used music intentionally with my clients for years as an executive and team coach, and I can now offer more research and reasons for them to use music productively in their work and lives. Thanks for sharing your wisdom in this educational and enjoyable book, Jennifer!”
As with the other books, you can purchase this insightful light read from Amazon in paperback form.
These are just a few of the books available for those who are interested in how music effects the mind and body. Doing a simple internet search brings up numerous results ranging from books with simple and easy to understand language to more complex technical terms digging deep into the topic. Have you found any titles to be helpful for your music therapy journey?
About the Peterson Family Foundation
The Peterson Family Foundation was founded in 2003 to enhance, restore and improve the quality of life for all human beings. Our primary mission is to seek out and support experts and institutions dedicated to enhancing and improving the lives of people dealing with illnesses requiring a stay at a medical institution by bringing music therapy to as many hospitals as possible. Learn more at our website or share your story with us.