Recent research suggests that music therapy improves children’s self esteem and may be effective in helping them recover from depression.

Soft SkillsResearchers at Bournemouth University in England and Queen’s University Belfast studied 251 children between the ages of 8 and 16 years old for a study published in The Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry.

The children who received the treatment demonstrated reduced depression and improved self-esteem. “This study is hugely significant in terms of determining effective treatments for children and young people with behavioral problems and mental health needs,” said first author Sam Porter. “The findings contained in our report should be considered by healthcare providers and commissioners when making decisions about the sort of care for young people that they wish to support.”

Children in the experimental group were told to freely improvise, per the Alvin model of improvisation, by creating their own music using their voices, sound, instruments, and movements.

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