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Music as therapy not limited by genre

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Music as therapy not limited by genre

Music therapy spans all genres, from classical to punk rock. CW | Layton Dudley

Rita McWilliams

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According to Andrea Cevasco-Trotter, director of music therapy at The University of Alabama, the efficiency of music as therapy is not limited to a certain genre of music.

“Research supports the use of a person’s preferred music,” Cevasco-Trotter said. “Yes, hard rock, metal and punk rock music can be relaxing to people who 
prefer it.”

Matt Hector, an alumni of the University, said he has been listening to punk music since he was in the eighth grade and remembered checking out the album “Never Mind the Bollocks” by The Sex Pistols from his 
local library.

“At the same time, I was going through the early stages of a developing bipolar disorder,” Hector said. “Punk allowed me to channel some of the worst part[s] of deep lows into music that gave power to anger and made 
it hope.”

Hector also said he finds different genres of punk service different parts of his brain, and even that lighter punk music is fun and helps promote his good moods. The more fast-paced, hard music lyrics help his stress.

“I have a very high-stress job,” Hector said. “I still use punk to mitigate 
that stress.”

Drew Brooks, an alumni of the University, said punk rock has been a huge, consistent part of his life.

“It is very much a stress relief for me,” Brooks said. “Because it is songs that I can relate to on a very personal, 
intimate level – like I know that someone else feels just as good or awful as I do and that helps me through 
most days.”

Brooks also said attending punk shows are another source of 
stress relief.

“Punk shows are a place where you can forget your worries for a few hours and have a good time without having to stress about every little thing that drags you down from day to day,” Brooks said. “The same goes for playing shows, being the performer is exhilarating to me.”

Additionally, Cevasco-Trotter said that while there is no research to 
support playing an instrument or attending a music concert can help with stress or depression, it may improve one’s 
stress level.

“People who are dealing with a mild case of the ‘blues’ or mild stress, engaging in those activities might have 
positive effects,” Cevasco said.

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Music as therapy not limited by genre