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Music therapists use musical lessons and activities to improve a patient's self-confidence and self-awareness, to relieve states of depression, and to improve physical dexterity. For example, a music therapist treating a patient with Alzheimer's disease might play songs from the patient's past in order to stimulate long- and short-term memory, soothe feelings of agitation, and increase a sense of reality. A musical therapist treating a patient with a physical disability may have the patient play a keyboard or xylophone to improve their dexterity or have them walk to a musical selection to improve their balance and gait. Music therapists also treat people with mental health needs, learning and developmental disabilities, physical disabilities, brain injuries, conditions related to aging, alcohol and drug abuse problems, and acute and chronic pain.
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