What is Music Therapy ?

Music therapy is an evidence-based clinical practice used to address the psychosocial, emotional, spiritual, physical, and cognitive needs of individuals of  all ages and abilities. Music therapists facilitate individual and group sessions using instrumental or vocal music experiences to address non-musical goals.  Music is a non-invasive, safe, and unique way to address individual goals and promote overall wellness.

Goals may include:

    * Emotional Expression
    * Provide Normalization
    * Decrease Pain & Anxiety
    * Improve Communication
    * Promote Physical Rehabilitation
    * Promote Overall Wellness


What do Music Therapists do ?

Music therapists are trained to address the goals of an individual and implement a tailored music experience specific to their individual treatment plan and goals. Music therapists may use music in a variety of ways to achieve this goal. Since Music therapists work in a variety of settings with a  a variety of patients there is no "typical session" but interventions may include singing, improvisation, songwriting, lyric analysis, guided imagery and relaxation, toning, and more.


Who can use Music Therapy ?

Music therapy can benefit anyone - The young, the elderly, persons who are well, and persons who suffer from a disability or illness, music therapy sessions can be tailored to address the needs of the individual.  There is no need of prior music abilities either, anyone can benefit even if they know nothing about music.


What is the History of Music Therapy ?

The idea of music as a healing influence which could affect health and behavior is as least as old as the writings of Aristotle and Plato. The 20th century discipline began after World War I and World War II when community musicians of all types, both amateur and professional, went to Veterans hospitals around the country to play for the thousands of veterans suffering both physical and emotional trauma from the wars. The patients' notable physical and emotional responses to music led the doctors and nurses to request the hiring of musicians by the hospitals. It was soon evident that the hospital musicians needed some prior training before entering the facility and so the demand grew for a college curriculum. The first music therapy degree program in the world, founded at Michigan State University in 1944, celebrated its 50th anniversary in 1994. The American Music Therapy Association was founded in 1998 as a union of the National Association for Music Therapy and the American Association for Music therapy.
(from the American Music Therapy Website - www.musictherapy.org )


Where do Music Therapists work ?

Music therapists can be found in a variety of settings. They can be found in medical hospitals, hospice agencies and programs, rehabilitative facilities, psychiatric facilities, outpatient clinics, day care treatment centers, agencies serving developmentally disabled persons, drug and alcohol programs, senior centers, nursing homes, schools, and private practice.


What Training is required ?

Music therapists complete a four-year degree program at one of the 77 American Music Therapy Association approved colleges and universities. Following their education completion of a six-month clinical internship is required.

Persons who complete the college music therapy curricula and 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).













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