Bullying is a very serious issue which many children and young adults face today; whether verbal or physical, it can scar a person for life and lead to problems with socialization, as well as anger and behavioral issues. Bullying also heavily impacts life long after school, increasing risk of anxiety and depression but also physical diseases such as heart disease and other chronic illnesses.
For these reasons, it is important to work on preventing or reducing bullying as much as possible. Music therapy intervention, in particular, has been shown to be very effective in helping bullies and their victims as much as possible to eradicate bullying from schools.
What is Music Therapy?
Music therapy is a form of therapy which utilizes music as a method to fight anxiety or to help rehabilitation, or both. Patients are asked to listen to music or play music in conjunction with other therapy methods, creating a relationship between the feelings of calmness and serenity that they experience and the act of listening or playing music. Learning to play an instrument such as the guitar, an instrument which anyone can learn, can be particularly helpful for children and young adults who have been through tough traumatic experiences or who lack communication skills.
Music Therapy Against Bullying
Music therapy can easily be applied in school settings and are particularly effective if the school establishes a collaboration with music therapists. Activities can range from listening to music to participating in music video projects, as well as activities which move from passive to active and encourage students to improvise.
Activities which provide positive reinforcement and role-playing, such as using songwriting as a tool of emotional expression, are particularly powerful. Songwriting is a way to transfer the music skills to real life bullying situation, encouraging the expression of feelings and emotions related to bullying. This way, all students can relate to a complicated situation and analyzing the meaning of song lyrics dealing with bullies can be a positive way to start a conversation with affected students. The calming effect of music therapy can also encourage bullies and victims to breathe in order to deal with a particularly frustrating situation.
The great benefit of these activities is that they can easily be adapted to children and young adults of all ages, from elementary school to high school, and can be very successful because music is easily accessible and enjoyed by many children and teenagers.
If you would like to offer music therapy to help prevent bullying as a school, be sure to choose a trained professional. In fact, in order to offer music therapy, a therapist must have completed a music therapy program. Though this type of therapy may seem uncommon, music has the power to change people and the way they look at the world, and can be a great help for children and young adults struggling with difficult situations such as bullying.