An Introduction to the Profession
Music therapy is a practice that assists those suffering from physical, psychological or social difficulties. Typically, it’s used in combination with other forms of treatment.
Psychotherapy uses music as a tool to assist patients in reaching their objectives, such as improving communication, developing coping skills or increasing self-expression. This form of treatment is utilized both privately and publicly in settings like hospitals, clinics and schools.
In 1950, the first professional organization of music therapists was formed due to improvements in soldiers’ mental health that doctors at veterans’ hospitals had observed after using music therapy. Since then, this field has grown rapidly, creating multiple organizations and certification processes tailored towards different populations’ needs.
Qualifications to become a music therapist typically require a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, clinical experience and professional credentials. To keep their credentials valid, therapists must earn continuing education credits through the CAMT (Certification Board for Music Therapists) process.
Music therapists use a variety of instruments, depending on their clients’ individual needs and preferences. A guitar may be ideal for clients who require fine-tuning of motor skills, while piano or drum pads could be more beneficial if coordination of movement and timing are issues.
Music therapists may play songs selected specifically for their clients or encourage them to create their own music during sessions. This technique helps clients develop a deeper connection with the therapist and feel more engaged and expressive during treatment.
Singing Songs Together: Singing is a popular music therapy activity that can be helpful for children and adults who struggle to express their emotions verbally, especially during times of emotional stress. It can be done alone or in a group setting and has various therapeutic purposes such as increasing self-expression, building positive relationships, combatting loneliness and grief issues, improving concentration levels and maintaining emotional equilibrium.
Lyrics and Melodies: Therapists often select music for their clients based on lyrics and melody that meet each person’s individual needs. They can use the Iso principle, which states that music has more of an effect on someone’s mood and psychological state if it resonates with their current circumstance.
Adaptive Music Therapy: This approach can be beneficial to individuals with developmental disabilities or other health conditions, such as autism. It helps improve motor skills and coordination in children as well as their listening capabilities. Furthermore, it teaches social and emotional lessons such as introducing them to new people through music.
Improvisation: Music therapists use improvisation to encourage clients to sing or perform with their hands in order to create new rhythms and melodies. This approach can be especially helpful when the client has limited mobility or speech difficulties.