It’s been long understood that humans respond deeply to music. Hearing a song can reach primitive areas of the human brain that aren’t accessible through words alone and even impact our motor and nervous systems.
It should come as no surprise that the same is true of music we make ourselves with our instruments, our hands, our voices. Performing music in treatment is less common than using pre-recorded music, but it’s believed to offer similar benefits for individuals facing mental health and substance use disorders. For instance, playing an instrument or singing can decrease stress and anxiety and improve self-image, self-esteem, and self-expression.