About Music Therapy

What is Music Therapy?

Music Therapy is 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.

Music Therapy is an established health profession in which music is used within a therapeutic relationship to address physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs of individuals. After assessing the strengths and needs of each client, the qualified music therapist provides the indicated treatment including creating, singing, moving to, and/or listening to music. Through musical involvement in the therapeutic context, clients' abilities are strengthened and transferred to other areas of their lives. Music therapy also provides avenues for communication that can be helpful to those who find it difficult to express themselves in words. Research in music therapy supports its effectiveness in many areas such as: overall physical rehabilitation and facilitating movement, increasing people's motivation to become engaged in their treatment, providing emotional support for clients and their families, and providing an outlet for expression of feelings.
Who is a Music Therapist?

Music therapy is practiced around the world and as a result, training looks slightly different everywhere you go. In the United States, music therapists are individuals who have….
  • Completed at least a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Therapy (or equivalency program) at an American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) accredited college
  • Completed coursework in music (music theory, conducting, arranging, music history, composing, ear-training, sight-singing, etc.)
  • Completed coursework in psychology (general psychology, abnormal psychology, childhood development, statistics and analysis, etc.)
  • Completed coursework in music therapy (assessments, documentation and data analysis, intervention planning, termination planning, the clinical applications of music, anatomy and physiology, and how the brain responds to music)
  • Demonstrated proficiency in guitar, voice, and piano minimum (most music therapists play many other instruments!)
  • Completed a minimum of 1200 clinical training hours as a music therapist, including a 6 month internship
  • Passed the board certification exam administered through the Certification Board for Music Therapists (CBMT) earning them the credentials MT-BC (music therapist-board certified)
  • Earned 100 continuing education credits every five years they are board-certified.
Music Therapy Interventions Can Be Created To:
  • Improve communication
  • Express feelings
  • Increase self-esteem
  • Enhance socialization
  • Organize behaviors
  • Promote physical rehabilitation
  • Manage stress
  • Promote wellness
  • Enhance memory
  • Alleviate pain​
Music Therapy Can Be Beneficial In: 
  • Early childhood development
  • Children and adults with ASD and other developmental disabilities
  • Individuals with Cerebral Palsy and other multiple impairments
  • Traumatic Brain Injury, Parkinson's disease, and other related neurologic impairments
  • Hospice and palliative care
  • procedural support and wellness in medical settings and intensive care
  • behavioral psychology settings
  • With veterans and other military populations
  • Prenatal, perinatal, and postpartum settings
  • Adult day care and other residential facilities
  • Memory care, such as dementia
  • Correctional or forensic settings