New England Music Therapy
New England music therapy is a type of psychotherapy that utilizes music to promote mental and physical wellbeing. It has become widely practiced in schools, hospitals and psychiatric facilities throughout America as well as community and residential settings to meet the needs of children, adults, seniors and people with disabilities alike.
Music therapy primarily consists of two main approaches: active and receptive (or expressive). Both aim to engage clients or patients in music making, listening and responding. In receptive sessions, therapists guide clients or patients through listening and responding to recorded or live music while providing written, spoken or musical instructions as part of the therapeutic process.
Music therapy in New England has seen remarkable growth since its inception in the 1950s and is now one of the largest professional musical therapies worldwide. It plays a crucial role in treating various health conditions such as anxiety, depression, autism and dementia.
Music therapists in New England typically collaborate with other healthcare professionals such as nurses, social workers and occupational therapists to promote mental health. They may use their own musical talents like playing instruments, singing or writing lyrics to aid this improvement process.
Music is increasingly being employed in healthcare facilities to aid patient recovery from traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Medical researchers have observed that music has a beneficial effect on both PTSD and TBI, but the effectiveness of the intervention depends on each individual’s individual needs and preferences.
A music therapy program’s objective is to teach students how to utilize music as a means for improving cognitive, sensory and motor functioning, elevating self-esteem and stimulating positive behavioral changes. This is achieved through classroom instruction, clinical experience and supervised practice with community clients.
At a university-based music therapy program, junior and senior students learn techniques and theory to enable them to work with clients of all ages and backgrounds. After completing 1,200 hours of supervised clinical practice and internships in the community, these music therapists get hands-on experience working with children, adolescents and adults who have physical or mental health conditions.
The primary objective of a music therapy program is for graduates to be qualified to take the National Certification Examination and earn board certification through the American Association for Music Therapy (AAMT), the world’s largest professional organization of licensed music therapists with more than 700 members and an active research and clinical journal. The AAMT’s mission is to promote the value of music therapy through education, research, and service.