What is Music Therapy?
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!