Music surrounds us and is an innate part of each and every one of us. This applies to all ages, abilities, cultures, and beliefs.
It is because of this that music allows for such unique outcomes. It naturally motivates a child to sing, when they may not yet speak. It naturally gives rhythmic support for someone with limited mobility to reach an inch higher to play a cymbal. It naturally provides a safety net for someone to express emotions and ideas through song writing, when they may have difficulty talking through their feelings. It helps decrease pain and anxiety in the medical field, when traditional medicines and support may fail.
As music therapists, we are trained to use music prescriptively to work on non-musical goals and to better lives.
What is Music Therapy?
Music Therapy is the clinical and evidence-based use of music to achieve individualized goals and to positively influence changes in the client’s specific needs, strengths, and weaknesses. Music therapists are specifically trained and board certified (MT-BC).
What Do Music Therapists Do?
How Does Music Therapy Work?
In music therapy, each individual is provided personalized support and encouragement in the gaining of new skills and abilities. Because music touches each person individually, participation in music therapy offers opportunities for improvisation, expression, creativity, and learning that may be significantly different from more traditional therapeutic approaches.
Who is Qualified to Be A Music Therapist?
Persons who complete one of the approved college music therapy curricula (including an internship) are then eligible to sit for the national examination offered by the Certification Board for Music Therapists. Music therapists who successfully complete the independently administered examination hold the music therapist-board certified credential (MT-BC).
What Can Music Therapy Help With?
Music Therapy is an established healthcare profession that uses music to address physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs of individuals of all ages and abilities. Music therapy improves the quality of life for persons who are well and meets the needs of children and adults with disabilities or illnesses. Music therapy interventions can be designed to:
What are some misconceptions about music therapy?
That the client or patient has to have some particular music ability to benefit from music therapy — they do not. That there is one particular style of music that is more therapeutic than all the rest — this is not the case. All styles of music can be useful in effecting change in a client or patient’s life. The individual’s preferences, circumstances and need for treatment, and the client or patient’s goals help to determine the types of music a music therapist may use.
Who Benefits from Music Therapy?
Because music therapy is a powerful and non-threatening medium, unique outcomes are possible. Music therapy is used with individuals of all ages and abilities. Links below for more detailed information with specific areas of need and diagnoses (all links are PDFs):