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Playing music instruments 'helps beat the blues'

New research has suggested that people suffering from depression can show better signs of recovery than those undergoing traditional treatment by engaging with music instruments.
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People who play music instruments as part of their therapy can show better signs of recovery than those who receive traditional treatment, according to new research.

Researchers from Finland have found that adults who took part in music therapy sessions were able to open up more and explore their feelings more freely.

By playing a mixture of music instruments, including drums and xylophones, they began to show fewer signs of depression than people undergoing regular treatment.

Working with 33 patients who were suffering from depression, researchers incorporated the one-to-one music sessions into to their regular course of treatments, which included antidepressant medication, counselling and psychotherapy.

Professor Jaakko Erkkila, who led the team of researchers at the University of Jyvaskyla in Finland, said: "We found that people often expressed their inner pressure and feelings by drumming or with the tones produced with a mallet instrument. Some people described their playing experience as cathartic."

Dr Mike Crawford, from Imperial College London, added that music-making was an activity that was sociable, enjoyable and evocative that engaged people in a way that words, for example, cannot.

Music therapy is often described as an "expressive" form of treatment, where music-making is seen as the most important form of communication between the patient and therapist.

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Posted on 1 Aug 2011 12:04 to category : Instruments News

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