Music Therapy

What is Music Therapy?

Music Therapy is the clinical and evidence-based application of music interventions to accomplish non-musical goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music therapy program. Music therapists often have similar goals to occupational, speech, or physical therapists – which makes MT a popular complement to these more-common therapies, especially in pediatric populations.

Music therapy uses a variety of active music making experiences such as singing, dancing, song imitation, instrument play, song-writing and analysis.

Music Therapy can be a group experience or individual, and each session is structured around the non-musical therapeutic goals of the patient. Typical music therapy sessions are 30-60 minutes in length depending upon the age and functioning level of the patient.

Music Therapy may be Used to Target the Following Areas:

  • Communication skills, such as expressive and receptive language, initiation of conversation, spontaneous language, and pre-learning skills (e.g., turn-taking)

  • Motor function such as balance, spatial awareness, bilateral coordination, grasping objects, and sequencing movements

  • Emotional and behavioral skills such as sustained attention to task, eye contact, expression of emotions, participation and compliance

  • Cognitive functions such as sustained attention/divided attention to task, processing of multi-step directives, mastering of educational concepts (e.g., letters, colors, shapes, or symbols)