What is music therapy?
Credit: AMTA. We love this short film from the American Music Therapy Association.
Music therapy is the use of creative music making in a safe, therapeutic environment . The therapist works either individually with a client, or with a number of clients in a music therapy group, and the aims are to meet social, emotional, cognitive, physical, learning and communication needs.
Music appeals to us all and music therapy can be accessed by anyone. It is a proven clinical intervention that enhances quality of life by offering opportunity for meaningful relationship building, self expression, creativity and communication.
All of the music is improvised and the therapist uses their music to build communication. We use a variety of instruments such as the piano, guitar, xylophones, drums and other percussion, all of which are available to be freely used by our clients.
Making music can be a cathartic, creative experience where our clients can feel heard and understood and a very effective means of expressing themselves and processing difficult feelings without the need to translate those feelings in to words. Encouraging emotional wellbeing and growth through therapeutic support is key to the process.
Music therapy promotes communication, self expression, play and engagement.