Recently, I had the good fortune to meet one of those people who have a clear mission in life. Someone who is knowledgeable, passionate, driven, and articulate about her particular field. She is Judith Pinkerton, LPMT, MT-BC. Those fancy letters after her name indicate that she is a licensed music therapist. If you’re like me, you may not have even been aware that there is such a thing as music therapy. But it’s a legitimate form of therapy as indicated by her license, granted by the Nevada State Health Division.
Judith moved to Las Vegas in 1989, but was already aware of the power of music therapy from some experiences she had in Alaska. Currently on the Solutions Recovery Wellness Campus, she facilitates music therapy classes and sessions in her office. In addition (and the reason for this article) she’s getting ready to expand her online presence significantly. Though she works with some patients from the recovery center, she also sees individuals not associated with the center.
Though some are skeptical of music as therapy, I think a few simple examples will explain the power and value of music. Who here doesn’t have a favorite song that puts them in a certain mood (either a happy mood directly or as the result of memories around the song)? Powerful anthems (classically “We are the Champions” by Queen) are played in stadiums around the world due to their strong music and lyrics. Music affects not only mood, but physiology as well.
Though she’s had an online presence for a while, last year she began focusing on plans to roll out Music 4 Life® on a much wider scale, including course availability via iTunes University, playlists on iTunes, and subscription music packages designed to invoke certain moods.
If you’re interested in experimenting with some playlists to expand your musical tastes and start to set other moods with your music, start with Pandora’s Enigma Radio channel. It’s a mix of new age, EDM, jazz, and techno, and really shows how moods invoked from music can come from any genre. In Music 4 Life® music therapy, “approved” songs from all genres are categorized into one of four categories: Unsettled, Soothed, Energized, or mixed. A single song can start sad, but end on a very uplifting note, so it’s important that your songs be categorized properly when you’re building playlists to invoke a certain emotion or want long-term relief from unsettled moods.