“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
That’s great, but what exactly does this mean?
Let’s break it down.
“Clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions…”
- Music therapists use current research to design music interventions (music activities) that address individualized non-musical goals. Interventions may include but are not limited to: playing instruments, singing, movement, song writing, music listening, and so on. Also, music interventions used during sessions are based off individual preference.
“…to accomplish individualized goals.”
- Non-musical goals are based off the person’s individual strengths and areas of growth. Goals can target the following areas:
- gross and fine motor skills
- communication skills
- socialization skills
- academic skills
- emotional regulation skills
- develop coping skills
- decrease anxiety
- improve quality of life
- promote wellness
- manage stress
- enhance memory
“…by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music therapy program.”
- Music therapists have at least a bachelor’s degree in music therapy from an AMTA (American Music Therapy Association) accredited school. Music therapy students log at least 1,200 clinical hours between practicum placements during coursework and a 6-month internship at an AMTA approved internship site. After completing their course work and an internship, the music therapy student sits for the music therapy board exam provided by the Certification Board of Music Therapists. Once they complete their course work, internship, and pass the exam they become a Board-Certified Music Therapist (MT-BC).