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

As a music therapist, I use prescriptive music experiences to help my clients learn and grow in all areas including communication, motor functioning, self-awareness, social awareness, self esteem, cognitive development, academics, and emotional expression.
My work is all about developing a relationship with my clients by meeting them where they are. This allows me to assess their areas of need and set attainable goals. Then, comes my favorite part! I create personal music experiences for each client based on their needs, abilities and music interests.  Whether it’s singing in the words to their favorite song, playing and translating emotions through drumming, learning social cues through musical story telling, enhancing hand-eye coordination through tracking notes, colors or numbers on a keyboard, boosting self-esteem through song writing, or following directions through instrument play, music is the underlying tool than brings the positive change.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote, “Music is the universal language of mankind.” I could not agree more.

In my eight years as a music therapist I have seen more clients with special needs come alive through music. It truly is a language through which they can achieve their highest potential!

For more about the profession of music therapy please visit the American Music Therapy Association website.