Music Therapy is the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music therapy program. Music therapists assess emotional well-being, physical health, social functioning, communication abilities, and cognitive skills through musical responses; design music sessions for individuals and groups based on client needs using music improvisation, receptive music listening, song writing, lyric discussion, music and imagery, music performance, and learning through music; participate in interdisciplinary treatment planning, ongoing evaluation, and follow up (American Music Therapy Association, AMTA).
Music therapy is process-oriented rather than performance-based, and individuals actively participate in musical interventions to achieve functional therapeutic outcomes. Individuals do not need to have any prior musical abilities or experience in order to benefit from music therapy.
Music is a very powerful tool with the brain. Just listening to music activates both hemispheres of the brain! In addition, music is very organizing and predictable. Music is processed in all areas of the brain and has the ability to access and stimulate areas of the brain that may not be accessible through other modalities. Music enhances and optimizes the brain, providing more efficient therapy. Music Therapy is unique in its ability to captivate and maintain attention, and it naturally motivates clients to work on their functional goals, feeling not threatened and motivated!
Neurologic Music Therapy
Neurologic Music Therapy, or NMT, is a therapeutic application of music to cognitive, sensory, and motor dysfunctions that come from the human nervous system. NMT is based within a neuroscience model of music and considers the influence of music on functional changes in nonmusical brain functions and behaviors. NMT techniques are research-based, and like all music therapy techniques used to achieve functional non-music goals. This set standardized techniques are applied to therapy as Therapeutic Music Interventions which are adaptable to the needs of each client.
Who is a Music Therapist?
A professional music therapist holds a minimum of a degree in music therapy from one of over 70 American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) approved college and university programs. The curriculum for the bachelor’s degree is designed to impart entry-level competencies in three main areas (musical foundations, clinical foundations, and music therapy foundations and principles as specified in the AMTA Professional Competencies). In addition to the academic coursework, the bachelor’s degree requires 1200 hours of clinical training, including a supervised internship. Graduate degrees in Music Therapy focus on advanced clinical practice and research. Upon completion of the bachelor’s degree, music therapists are eligible to sit for the national board certification exam to obtain the credential MT-BC (Music Therapist – Board Certified) which is necessary for professional practice. The credential MT-BC is granted by a separate, accredited organization, the Certification Board for Music Therapists (CBMT), to identify music therapists who have demonstrated the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to practice at the current level of the profession. The purpose of board certification in music therapy is to provide an objective national standard that can be used as a measure of professionalism by interested agencies, groups, and individuals.
Who can receive Music Therapy?
Individuals of all ages (infants, children, adolescents, adults and the elderly) with mental health needs, developmental and learning disabilities, Alzheimer’s disease and other aging related conditions, substance abuse problems, brain injuries, physical disabilities, and acute and chronic pain, including mothers in labor can benefit from music therapy. Meli Music provides exceptional music therapy services for children and adults with developmental and neurological challenges throughout Los Angeles County. Click here for more detailed information.
Music Therapy Sessions
Since music therapists serve a wide variety of persons with many different types of needs there is no such thing as an overall typical session. Sessions are designed and music selected based on the individual client’s treatment plan. However, a typical music therapy session involves live music making activities that are customized to met the non-musical goals of the client or group.
Individual Music Therapy Sessions
Meli Music offers individual music therapy sessions in your home or facility. These sessions are specifically designed to meet the needs of the individual client. Activities and pacing are adjusted to maximize the involvement and effectiveness of each therapeutic interaction.
Group Music Therapy Sessions
Meli Music offers group based music therapy sessions in your home or facility. Groups typically range in size from 2-6 clients in a home to as large as 30 clients in a facility. Still following the treatment plan established at the start of services, group sessions focus on increasing pleasure and enjoyment amongst all participants, strengthening relationships and awareness of others, in addition to increasing social interactions.