February 15, 2016 Erin Hall

Beating Employee Stress: Using Music Therapy at Work

If you’re looking for unique ways to bring wellness to your employees, music therapy has some interesting uses and benefits.

Music therapy can be used in for several specific physical or mental wellness conditions, as well as for general personal growth, empowerment, and stress reduction. See how you can use it in the workplace.



 Music Therapy: One Answer to Employee Stress


What is Music Therapy?

The American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) describes music therapy as a way for people to receive positive healing effects from a clinically directed program of “creating, singing, moving to, and/or listening to music.”

The effects come from working with melodies and rhythms in a way that strengthens brain synapses, improves coordination, and lowers the levels of stress-related hormones.

Related: 7 Problems That Employee Stress Management Programs Solve

The AMTA is careful to distinguish between clinical music therapy as directed by a certified music therapist, and the general pleasant experience of enjoying music.

So while creating and listening to music may feel positive, the true therapeutic effects described by the AMTA can only come from a regimented program from a trained professional.


What Happens in Music Therapy

Participants of music therapy don’t require any prior music training to enjoy it or get the benefits.

The benefits happen from working with rhythms on hand drums or working with simple melodies.

Some work may be done on simple instruments that are easy to learn the basics of. Clients learn to put together simple melodies, sing or move to music in a regimented program their therapist has put together for them.


Benefits of Music Therapy

Here are some ways music therapy is used:

  • Reducing pain
  • Improving sleep patterns
  • Brain injury rehabilitation
  • Improving communication and speech abilities
  • Improving motor function
  • Lessening effects of dementia


alternative employee health and wellness

How to Use Music Therapy in the Workplace

Given the wide ranging effects of this kind of work, there could be numerous benefits for the workplace.

For employees, music therapy could be particularly useful as an alternative form of rehabilitation following a work-related injury, or as part of a mental wellness and support program.

Related: 6 Signs You’re a Workplace Wellness Expert


Benefits of Music Therapy at Work

As more companies are striving to provide mental health and wellness support, programs like music therapy may start to show up as a workplace benefit.

Related: Best Employee Perks & Benefits: Your Ultimate Masterlist

According to Dr. Suzanne Hanser, music therapy positively affects heart rate, blood pressure, and vital signs — all keys to maintaining mental focus and agility at any task.

As a non-invasive, drug-free supplement, employees could see positive effects on mental health, brain functioning, stress reduction, focus, and even relief from depression and anxiety.


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