Frequently Asked Questions
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. (American Music Therapy Association definition, 2005)
HOW LONG DOES EACH THERAPY SESSION TAKE?
Sessions are typically between 30-60 minutes depending on preference and attention span.
WHAT DO MUSIC THERAPISTS DO?
Music therapists assess emotional well-being, physical health, social functioning, communication abilities, and cognitive skills through musical responses; design music sessions for individuals and groups based on client needs using music improvisation, receptive music listening, song writing, lyric discussion, music and imagery, music performance, and learning through music; participate in interdisciplinary treatment planning, ongoing evaluation, and follow up.
WHO CAN BENEFIT FROM MUSIC THERAPY?
Children, adolescents, adults, and the elderly with mental health needs, developmental and learning disabilities, Alzheimer's disease and other aging related conditions, hospice care patients, substance abuse problems, brain injuries, physical disabilities, and acute and chronic pain, including mothers in labor and basically EVERYONE!
WHERE DO MUSIC THERAPISTS WORK?
Music therapists work in psychiatric hospitals, rehabilitative facilities, medical hospitals, outpatient clinics, day care treatment centers, agencies serving persons with developmental disabilities, community mental health centers, drug and alcohol programs, senior centers, nursing homes, hospice programs, correctional facilities, halfway houses, schools, and private practice.
WHO IS QUALIFIED TO PRACTICE MUSIC THERAPY?
Persons who complete one of the approved college music therapy curricula (including an 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).
WHAT ARE SOME MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT MUSIC THERAPY?
That the client or patient has to have some particular music ability to benefit from music therapy -- they do not. That there is one particular style of music that is more therapeutic than all the rest -- this is not the case. All styles of music can be useful in effecting change in a client or patient's life. The individual's preferences, circumstances and need for treatment, and the client or patient's goals help to determine the types of music a music therapist may use.