Music is a medium that can meet people’ s needs for achievement, belonging, significance freedom and fun, since it allows expression of self and is a means of finding meaningful and enjoyable communication with others…
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Music is a medium that can meet people’ s needs for achievement, belonging, significance freedom and fun, since it allows expression of self and is a means of finding meaningful and enjoyable communication with others. The power of music has been recognized for a long time as a means of promoting health and well-being; therefore, music therapy to mentally retarded people is a means of harnessing the power of music for effective and positive change to individuals. Music actively engages people in their development and behavioural change; hence, for mentally retarded people music permits them to transmit musical and non-musical skills to other facets of life, which brings them from isolation into active participation in the world. The act of making music to mentally retarded people and reacting to musical stimuli makes these individuals able to experience immediate psychological and physiological awareness in various levels. The concrete reality of being able to sense auditorialy, tactfully, visually and emotionally brings these persons into the present, which brings immediate results. From mental retardation, these individuals experience the world around them on a subliminal or unconscious level; nevertheless, through music mentally retarded people can experience life at the conscious level, which opens lines of communication because it awakens, heighten and expand their awareness. Music has many positive changes on different levels to mentally retarded people since it has the unique properties of facilitating creative expression within individuals who have nonverbal or face difficulties in communication skills. Moreover, music provides an opportunity for experiences that open the way leading to motivation in learning in all domains of functioning; as well, music creates opportunities for positive and pleasurable social experiences, which are unavailable to mentally retarded people. In addition, music develops understanding of self, others and the surrounding which improves the working of mentally retarded people at all levels and improves their well-being as well as fostering their independent living (Barksdale, 2003). There are various fundamental reasons to the effectiveness of using music as a curative agent, which include music being a cross-cultural mode of expression with its nonverbal nature making it a universal means of communication. Music sound stimulus is unique in its power of penetrating the mind and the body regardless of an individual’s level of intelligence or condition; therefore, music stimulates senses, evokes feelings and emotions, elicits both mental and physiological responses and energizes the mind and body. Music’s intrinsic structure and qualities has the potential for self-organization in mentally retarded individuals since it influences musical and non-musical behaviour hence it facilitates learning and acquisition of skills. Music is an extremely efficient and aesthetic modality which applies to all people including mentally retarded people owing to its interdisciplinary nature. Music improves motor skill, cognitive skills, affective states and adjustment as well as social skills; hence, music’s interdisciplinary aspects supplement and reinforce therapies for mentally retarded individuals (Barksdale, 2003). Music has been successful as a therapeutic intervention for individuals with mental and physical disorders; hence, music has always been recommended combined with treatment policy in order to supplement medical treatment. Music therapy theory suggest music engages the mind, bringing awareness of self and others leading to positive change and as choice theory suggest, thoughts and feelings change in accordance with actions that satisfy the individuals involved, which music invokes (Barksdale, 2003). Musial activities are useful for motion, also motivate conscious reaction, and complete the power of sensory motivation; however, music
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