Why music therapy is effective in the rehabilitation of prisoners

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Whymusictherapyis effectivein therehabilitationof prisoners

Musicis a formof evidence-based therapythat is oftenusedto accomplishsomespecifiedtherapeuticgoalsin a therapeuticrelationshipbetween a prisonerandcredential musicprofessional.Musicis a non-threatening anda powerfulmediumthat addressspecialneedsof prisonersandyields uniqueoutcomescomparedto othermethodsof rehabilitation(American Music Therapy Association 2). Thistypeof therapyhas beenofferedin variouskindsof facilities,rangingfrom thelowto maximumsecurityprisonfacilities.Programsdesignedformusictherapycan bedeliveredin differentways,includinggroupperformance,musiclessons,musicrecordings,andliveperformancein televisionsorradios.Thisimpliesthatmusictherapyis an extensiveandinvolvingprogramthat givesprisonersan opportunityto engagein differentactivities,someof which areperformedoutsidetheprisonfacilities.Thispaperwill addressthewaysin which musictherapyworks,inmateswhoqualifyforthetherapy,its effectiveness, andits drawbacks.

Howmusictherapyworksforprisoners

Musictherapists applyfour differentapproachesto helptheir clients(prisoners)achievesomepre-determined therapeuticobjectives.First,musiccreatesa re-creative experiencethat focuseson playingandsingingof pre-composed music.Thisfeatureof thetherapeuticapproachallowsprisonersto developskillsthat increasethesenseof masteryandconfidence(AMTA 1). In addition,experiencesin certainassemble(suchas popularcombos, Chine choirs, andchoruses)giveprisonersan opportunityformeaningfulinteraction.

Secondly,improvisationis an activeformof engagementthat that revolvesaround theprocessof creatingmusicusingvarioustypesof media,suchas instruments,voice,andbodysounds(AMTA 2). Thesegiveprisonersan opportunityto releaseenergy,increasetheir creativeexpression,andredirect counterproductive emotions,andpersonalinsight.

Third,musictherapyfacilitatesreceptivemethodsthat involverespondingandlisteningto music.Forexample,theuseof musicto motivateprisonersformovement,exercise,anddanceis criticalforindividualswholivein confinedplaces(Robertson 1). Receptivemethodsgiveprisonersan opportunityto expressthemselves in socialandsafeways.

Fourth,compositionis a processof developinga pieceof musicthrough songwriting. Thisservesas an effectivewayof expressingone’smindandleveraging self-satisfactionin a treatmentsetting(AMTA 2). In addition,theprocessof composinga meaningfulmusichelpsprisonersto learnhowto developthoughtfulworkandshunawayfrom delinquentbehaviors.

Prisonerswhoqualifyformusictherapy

Althoughmusictherapyhas beenshownto be effective,thetargetprisonersshould havesomeinterestin themusicindustry.Researchhasshownthatmusic&nbsptherapyworkswellforcollegestudentswhohavebeenincarceratedfordifferenttypesof offenses(Lobo-Jost 3). However,thesuccessfultherapyis conductedandfacilitatedby professionalbodies,suchas theCertification Board of Music Therapy, which issuescertificatesof practiceto successfulprisoners.Theboardusesqualifiedtherapists, includingthecertified musictherapists andregisteredmusictherapists. Theseprofessionalsaretrainedin appropriatemethodsof offeringtherapyin differentforensicsettings,suchas jails,securityhospitals,sanctionprograms,community-based parole programs,anddetentioncenters.

Supportforthemusicprogram

Supportersof theideaof usingmusicas a therapyforinmateshaveidentifiedtwo majorbenefitsof thistypeof therapyover othermethods.First,musicprogramsrestorethesenseof safetyandhumanityin prisoners,which are vitalelementsof a rehabilitationprogram(Lobo-Jost 1).Theprogramgivesprisonersan opportunityto createa pieceof workthat thecommunitycan value,which in turnhelpstheinmatesrecapturethesenseof satisfactionandpride.Thispreparesthem to returnto thesocietyandbecomeproductivemembers.Secondly,musictherapyhas beenprovento be effectivein reducingtherateof recidivism, which impliesthatitis aneffectiveapproachto therehabilitationof prisoners.Musicprogramsare effectivebecausetheyare openandofferan alternativeto theformaleducationalprogramsthat mostof theinmateshaveanegativeexperiencewith (Bragg 1). In essence,musictherapyis an effectivemethodof rehabilitationanditreducesrecidivism significantly.

Drawbacksof musictherapy

Thereare a fewcasesin which musicprogramsin theprisonsystemhavebeenmisusedto introducecontrabands. Forexample,thesmugglingof contrabands in Grater-ford resultedin thetemporaryterminationof themusictherapybecausethebandsresultedin violenceandincreasedincidentsofthe drugoverdose(Lobo-Jost 2). In addition,musicprogramsmay lackeffectiveness becauseinmatesaremovedfrom one facilityto another.Thiscreatesthechallengeof inconsistencyandfrustrationamong prisonerswhohavealreadyenrolledintheprogram.

Conclusion

Musicprogramsthat aredesignedfortherehabilitationof prisonershavebeenprovento be effective.However,theseprogramsshould target inmateswhohavean interestin music.In addition,effectiveprogramsshould be deliveredby credibleandcertified musicexperts.Musictherapyworksthrough improvisation,recreation,composition,andreceptivemethods.In essence,musictherapyfunctionsby restoringtheprisoners’senseof humanityandsafety,which in turncontributestowards thereductionin therateof recidivism.

Workscited

AmericanMusic Therapy Association. Musictherapy for persons in correctional and forensic settings.Silver Springs, MD: AMTA, 2010.

Bragg,B. What it is all about. JailGuitar Doors.2009. Web. 3 March 2015.

Lobo-Jost,G. Musicprograms in prisons.Thousands Oaks, CA: Sage, 2004.

Robertson,T. Arts in prison: why cut our chances to create crime-free futures?TheGuardian.25 November. 2013. Web. 3 March 2015.