Moods swing with a tune from music

Music surrounds us whether it’s in the elevator, on the radio, or to the beat of our own hearts.

Music is a way to cherish shared emotions between you and the artist, and with people listening to the same song. But it’s also a form of communication and relief.
Music therapist, Antonietta Mongilo, from Creative Minds Music Therapy in Durham Region says music can bring out many emotions such as happiness, love, clarity and sadness.

Individuals in therapy use music to help relieve them of their problems. Depending on the type of therapy, therapists use different tools. Music is the form Mongilo uses.

It helps her assess her client and helps her determine if they need to release stress or to better communicate, especially for those with special needs.

“It really depends on what are the goals, what’s the diagnosis, what are they able to do, and then it’s up to the music therapist to facilitate that,” she said. “Definitely people with developmental disabilities and need the training and sensitivity of a music therapist.”

Music therapy is relatively new to Durham Region, according to Mongilo. She tried to establish recreational programs but there wasn’t much demand for the course during the winter season.

At Durham College, the Music Business Management (MBM) course allows students to get an understanding of the music market and how to be a successful manager of a band or studio. But there isn’t an avenue into music therapy.
Marni Thornton, coordinator for the MBM program says she’s always looking for new experts to speak to her class, and she may be considering a music therapist.
“One of the courses I co-teach, students run their own industry and we have guest speakers come in. So I’m thinking this is an area where we could have someone come in and speak about it,” she said. “Some people will find it really interesting I’m sure.”

Ian Parliament, a music teacher in Port Perry, says he sees the way a few songs performed on the guitar can lift the mood of his students.

“Especially in the winter months, kids are busy and they come in and they don’t have a lot of energy,” he said. “We’ll play some songs that are little up beat and they’ll snap out of it.”