February 20, 2022

MusicWorx offers 5 Ways Music Improves Inclusion

Jessica Blaisus, Director of Engagement, MusicWorx, Inc.

As music therapists, we are continually expanding our music knowledge and repertoire to better connect with our patients from various backgrounds. The diversity of our patients stirs interest in music from all over the world.

Here are five ways that music is a fantastic way to include and connect to other members of your community.

  1. Music is a powerful way to connect with individuals with communication challenges caused by mental illness or disability. Music has the power to create a bridge from us to their inner world, and through music, we can develop meaningful relationships with them.
  2. When sharing music with individuals or groups, provide music that speaks to them and their experience, as opposed to well-known songs that don't necessarily represent them. Learning the background and history of music artists and genres is important to providing music in an equitable way.
  3. Music has a unique ability to bring up past memories and experiences. Whether a family member, nurse, or medical professional, music can create particularly impactful moments, because we can learn from and reminisce with patients that are going through a hardship.
  4. Rhythmic entrainment may be beneficial and it is universally accessible. Rhythmic entrainment is one of our favorite ways music connects us. Rhythm is something every person shares -- in their heartbeat, their walking pace, etc. We have an innate ear and the ability to identify and match basic rhythms. Rhythmic entrainment is when multiple people match the same rhythm, which creates synchronicity, connection, inclusion, etc.
  5. Drum circles are also fantastic for connecting with others. Drum circles support dopamine, serotonin, and cortisol creation, boosting the immune system, and increasing feelings of inclusion, connection, belonging