Can Music Help?
None of us at Pakachoag is licensed as a mental health care provider nor as a Music Therapist. Most of us are professional musicians (teaching artists) and/or educators. But we do know that for teens especially, anxiety can creep in – and sometimes it is hard for a young person to express what they are feeling.
For parents, it can be hard to understand what is happening. When parents occasionally confide with us, I am quick to share that anxiety or depression is much more common than we usually realize.
Sometimes, music lessons can help. They offer a routine of daily practice, require focus and concentration, and bring a sense of accomplishment once a skill or piece is mastered. Music can also offer an outlet for self-expression. Sometimes the ability to express through music can happen quickly into the learning curve (depending on instrument and age); sometimes gradually, over time, as one becomes more adept. We also know, through research, that engagement in the arts contributes to lifelong health and well-being.
The Mass. Cultural Council is currently working on a new grant program called CultureRX – specifically because care providers often write prescriptions for an arts activity when emotional support is needed. Research shows that engaging aging adults in the arts can also reduce health care costs.
We encourage you to consider whether music lessons or a class for a younger child could be a worthwhile investment at this time. Depending on specific needs, we might recommend seeking out a music therapist who is trained to specifically work with those who have special learning needs or need therapeutic support.
At Pakachoag, we offer music lessons as a way of life. Lessons require hard work, focus, sustained commitment, and daily practice. If you or your child enjoy listening to music, learning to sing or to play an instrument can also bring happiness and satisfaction – not overnight, but over time.
For young children, birth to age five, we’re focused on providing a high quality foundation for all children to feel musical and to enjoy making music on day-by-day and weekly basis. The skills learned through music and rhythm during the formative years of development transfer to skills needed for success in school and lead to greater success in learning to play an instrument once a child is school-aged.