What is Music Therapy?

“What is music therapy?” As a music therapist, I’m used to getting this question pretty regularly. So sit tight. I am about to share with you what music therapy is… in a nutshell.

The American Music Therapy Association defines music therapy as “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.” (retrieved from musictherapy.org) Or as I simply put it: music therapy is the use of music to address non-music goals. This can be a very complex definition because music therapy can look and sound very different based on the clientle.

To list some examples, music therapy can be using music interventions to:

  • Teach and condition an infant in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit of a hospital to build muscles to use a pacifier, which in turn, helps with feeding.
  • Teach a child with a disbility to independently make choices or learn social skills.
  • Provide an adolenscent client with anxiety essential coping skills to work through triggering situations.
  • Help adult patients with substance abuse to learn to set goals and feel empowered in their treatment.
  • Increase the quality of life and to practice memory skills with residents of an assisted living.
  • Provide spirtual and emotional support for patients on hospice, as well as their family members.

Music therapists personalize every treatment session based on the individual or group they are seeing, down to the type of music they pick. This is where the creativity comes in! Every client has a different need, and music therapists find the music intervention to address that need whether it be drumming, singing, moving to music or songwriting to name a few. 

Want more information on how music therapy can benefit your facility, center, child, or loved one? Call 864-729-3063 or email janelle@premiermusictherapy.com for more information on how music therapy would work for you!

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