What is Music Therapy?

Music therapy is an established health profession similar to occupational therapy and physical therapy.  It consists of using music in a therapeutic way to address specific non-musical goals. These goals may be physical, psychological, cognitive, emotional, behavioral and/ or social functioning goals.

Because music therapy is a powerful, non-threatening, and non-invasive medium, unique outcomes are possible.

There are two basic components to music therapy:

  • The first component involves the type of musical experience used to address a treatment goal. 
This may include any one or all of the activities in which one can experience music,  through the use of instruments, voice, or  combinations of both. Just as different types of music connect with different people, so too will the type of musical activity match the needs and situations of each particular client. 

A certified music therapist is able to customize musical experiences for each individual. In this way, the musical experience is used to  address issues, facilitate changes, and promote growth toward  goals that are non-musical in nature (i.e. physical, cognitive, emotional, etc.).
  • The second component of music therapy involves relationships: 
...between a person and the therapist, between one person and another, between a person and their family, between the members of a group, or between the music and the participants.

Within a music therapy session, these relationships are examined, explored, and built upon through the elements of music. This helps to create a positive environment. Creating a positive environment fosters successful growth and healing experiences which then help to enhance the quality of a person's life.