"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.
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
Music therapy interventions can be designed to...
Music provides a comfortable medium to express emotions. It gives a second voice to a person who could be physically or emotionally unable to speak about what they're going through. Music and lyrics provide ongoing metaphors to relate to.
Through various relaxation and other techniques, music therapy can help a person develop coping mechanisms to use in their lives when they feel symptoms of anxiety, depression, stress and feel overwhelmed.
Many studies have shown the parallels in using music to reduce pain. Not only can it free up emotional pain, it can be used for chronic pain by developing methods of relaxation as well as in temporary pain such as labor. Music therapy assisted childbirth is an enjoyable avenue for reducing pain during labor.
PROMOTE PHYSICAL REHABILITATION
Those with fine and gross motor issues can improve their movements, gait, and muscle control through the uses of movement to music, TIMP(Therapeutic Instrument Music Playing), RAS(Rhythmic Auditory Stimulation), and more.
Music Therapy interventions can help to facilitate improvements in communication. Because of the strong connection between speech and singing, those suffering from aphasia can benefit from Melodic Intonation Therapy techniques. Children with developmental delays can learn ways to express their desires and needs. The use of auditory and rhythmic cues in music therapy can help to address problems with initiation and rate of speech. (link to references)
After a referral for music therapy, a board certified music therapist completes a thorough assessment to determine if music therapy is a viable therapy for that client and then develops individualized goals and objectives to improve their quality of life.