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.

Who benefits from music therapy?
Anyone, children, adolescents, adults, elderly, people with mental health, developmental and learning disabilities, substance abuse problems, brain injuries, physical disabilities, and people with acute and chronic pain can benefit from music therapy.  Healthy individuals can use music as stress reduction by actively making music or listening for relaxation.  Many people use music as a vital support for physical exercise, such as runners.

What can music therapy do?
Music therapy interventions can be designed to:
-promote wellness
-manage stress
-alleviate pain
-express feelings
-enhance memory
-improve communication
-promote physical rehabilitation
-learn academic concepts
-reinforce social cues

What do The Parish School students work on in music therapy?
Through music, I work on social cues, communication, reality orientation, motor skills, following directions, impulse control, memory skills, academic concepts, handling disappointments, flexibility, musical concepts, vocal production, learning wellness, teamwork, expected behaviors, self-help skills, and creativity.  Music learning is used to strengthen language and communication, which is important for daily life.

What does a music therapy session look like?
Though there is no overall typical music therapy session because music therapists service a wide variety of persons with different types of needs, my typical music session is hello song, singing practice (for upcoming performances), instrument play, movement, seasonal activity, listening, and good-bye song.  With the 16 different classes I teach, my sessions vary with what the students need and can handle.

All activities are designed with the student’s needs in mind and examples of activities are music improvisation, receptive music listening, song writing, lyric discussion, music performance, and learning through music.  Music is selected based on the individual’s preferences, circumstances, and need for intervention.  All styles of music can be useful in effecting a change in a person’s life.

Music Therapy in Social Media
Music Therapy continues to emerge as a helping profession and you can learn more about music therapy in the social media by watching the movie The Music Never Stopped based on “The Last Hippie” by Oliver Sacks or reading the book, Sing You Home, by Jodi Picoult.

For more information, visit American Music Therapy Association

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