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Music Therapy

Music Therapy is the enhancement of human capabilities through the planned use of musical influences on brain function” (Taylor, 2010).

At its core, Music Therapy is the interaction between a therapist, a client, and the use of music.  A Music Therapist assesses the client, creates a personalized clinical treatment plan, and works within a client-centered, goal-directed framework.  (MTABC, 2013)

The American Music Therapy Association describes it as:
An established healthcare profession that uses music to address physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs of individuals of all ages.”  It “improves “the quality of life for persons who are well and meets the needs of children and adults with disabilities or illnesses.”  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”  (AMTA, 2007)

How Does Music Therapy Work?
Music has observable effects on human behavior through its influences on brain functions;  thereby its effects can be used therapeutically.  Research establishes that music activates vast areas of neural tissue in the brain   This causes more of the brain’s power to be used in accomplishing any given task.  Additionally, it changes neural impulse patterns in the brain, allowing it to function differently than it would without music. (Taylor 2010)

Who is Qualified to be a Music Therapist?
To become a Board-Certified Music Therapist, receive the credential MT-BC, and be qualified to practice music therapy unsupervised, one must:

  • Complete a 4-year bachelor’s degree in Music Therapy at an accredited college or university
  • Undergo a full-time 6-month supervised internship
  • Pass the National Music Therapy Board Certification Exam through the accrediting body, the Certification Board for Music Therapists (CBMT).