What is Music Therapy?

Simply put: we use music to help people.

The American Music Therapy Association defines Music Therapy as the clinical use of music interventions by a board-certified music therapist to support cognitive, emotional, physical, and psychosocial needs.  Music Therapy can optimize coping and support quality of life when research and evidence-based techniques are used in both group and individual sessions.  Music is the therapeutic tool used by board-certified music therapists to support individualized goals.

Music Therapists are allied healthcare professionals who have completed a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in music therapy, clinical training, and an internship before taking a board-certification exam.  Then the credential of MT-BC (Music Therapist-Board Certified) is granted by the Certification Board for Music.  As a consumer, you want to be sure that a MT-BC is providing Music Therapy services for your loved one or organization.

What is Music Therapy?

Simply put: we use music to help people.

The American Music Therapy Association defines Music Therapy as the clinical use of music interventions by a board-certified music therapist to support cognitive, emotional, physical, and psychosocial needs.  Music Therapy can optimize coping and support quality of life when research and evidence-based techniques are used in both group and individual sessions.  Music is the therapeutic tool used by board-certified music therapists to support individualized goals.

Music Therapists are allied healthcare professionals who have completed a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in music therapy, clinical training, and an internship before taking a board-certification exam.  Then the credential of MT-BC (Music Therapist-Board Certified) is granted by the Certification Board for Music.  As a consumer, you want to be sure that a MT-BC is providing Music Therapy services for your loved one or organization.

  • Infant-directed singing with a premature baby to promote self-regulation
  • Instrumental music playing in a school to enhance communication and social skills of a child with neurodiverse needs
  • An individual in the hospital receiving support during a procedure to promote pain management
  • Music-assisted relaxation to build mindfulness and coping skills for a group of adults in recovery
  • Songwriting with a teenager to process difficult life changes or relationship dynamics

Clinical Training

Board-Certified Music Therapists (MT-BC) are professionally trained to work with infants, children, teens and adults with all ages and abilities (American Music Therapy Association).

Through music-based interventions, common therapeutic goals may include:

  • Improve social interaction and engagement with others
  • Increase expressive communication skills
  • Improve fine/gross motor skills
  • Improve self-regulatory skills
  • Improve short- and long-term memory 
  • Increase coping strategies due to anxiety, stress, or loss
  • ​​Teach and practice interpersonal, communication, and language skills
  • Increase state of relaxation
  • Enhance self-identity
  • Improve attention to task and activities
  • Improve self expression of emotions and opportunities for personal processing
  • Increase engagement to redirect perceived levels of pain, nausea, and fatigue
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Where can you find a music therapist?

  • Individual homes
  • Schools
  • Daycares
  • Skilled Nursing Facilities
  • Memory cares
  • Hospitals
  • Hospice Programs
  • Counseling Centers
  • Recovery centers
  • Mental health facilities
  • Women’s shelters