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Music Therapy

Do you have any questions? You can find your answer by reading our Frequently Asked Questions.

Practicing Guitar
  • What do music therapists do?
    Music therapists assess emotional well-being, physical health, social functioning, communication abilities, and cognitive skills through musical responses; design music sessions for individuals and groups based on client needs using music improvisation, receptive music listening, song writing, lyric discussion, music and imagery, music performance, and learning through music; participate in interdisciplinary treatment planning, ongoing evaluation, and follow up.
  • Who can benefit from music therapy?
    Children, adolescents, adults, and the elderly with mental health needs, developmental and learning disabilities, Alzheimer's disease and other aging related conditions, substance abuse problems, brain injuries, physical disabilities, and acute and chronic pain, including mothers in labor.
  • What does a typical session look like?
    Each session is unique to the individual client’s goals and objectives. Music therapists can address physical, emotional, cognitive, communication, and social goals using a variety of approaches that are best suited for the client. This can include client-preferred music, instruments, singing, dancing, and much more. Each client will have different needs and preferences and this will overall change the structure of their session.
  • What are some misconceptions about music therapy?
    That the client or patient has to have some particular music ability to benefit from music therapy — they do not. That there is one particular style of music that is more therapeutic than all the rest — this is not the case. All styles of music can be useful in effecting change in a client or patient’s life. The individual’s preferences, circumstances and need for treatment, and the client or patient’s goals help to determine the types of music a music therapist may use.
  • Where do music therapists work?
    Music therapists work in psychiatric hospitals, rehabilitative facilities, medical hospitals, outpatient clinics, day care treatment centers, agencies serving persons with developmental disabilities, community mental health centers, drug and alcohol programs, senior centers, nursing homes, hospice programs, correctional facilities, halfway houses, schools, and private practice.
  • What is the history of music therapy as a health care profession?
    The idea of music as a healing influence which could affect health and behavior is at least as old as the writings of Aristotle and Plato. The 20th century discipline began after World War I and World War II when community musicians of all types, both amateur and professional, went to Veterans hospitals around the country to play for the thousands of veterans suffering both physical and emotional trauma from the wars. The patients' notable physical and emotional responses to music led the doctors and nurses to request the hiring of musicians by the hospitals. It was soon evident that the hospital musicians needed some prior training before entering the facility and so the demand grew for a college curriculum. The first music therapy degree program in the world, founded at Michigan State University in 1944, celebrated its 50th anniversary in 1994. The American Music Therapy Association was founded in 1998 as a union of the National Association for Music Therapy and the American Association for Music therapy.
  • Who is qualified to practice music therapy?
    Persons who complete one of the approved college music therapy curricula (including an internship) are then eligible to sit for the national examination offered by the Certification Board for Music Therapists. Music therapists who successfully complete the independently administered examination hold the music therapist-board certified credential (MT-BC).
  • Is there research to support music therapy?
    AMTA promotes a vast amount of research exploring the benefits of music as therapy through publication of the Journal of Music Therapy, Music Therapy Perspectives and other sources. A substantial body of literature exists to support the effectiveness of music therapy
  • How does online therapy work?
    Online therapy takes place through our secure system called Simple Practice. All you need is a private space and a strong Internet connection.
  • Do you offer reduced rates?
    We offer limited reduced rate options. If our fee is not workable for you, please inquire about a reduced rate. We are dedicated to providing referrals in case we’re not able to work together.
  • What is your cancellation policy?
    We request that you cancel or reschedule your appointment within 48 hours of your appointment time. You will incur the full fee rate for missed sessions not canceled or rescheduled within 24 hours.
  • How do I schedule a free consultation?
    For therapy services, we offer a complimentary consultation appointment. Please go to our "Getting Started" tab to schedule your appointment today.

Examples of Music Therapy Goals

Physical Goals: Range of motion; gross motor skills; fine motor skills; pain management; breath capacity; gait training; balance & endurance; coordination.​​

Psychological Goals: Coping skills; self-expression; mood regulation; grief & bereavement; emotional awareness & processing; relaxation; self-direction & independence.

Social Goals: Participation; eye contact; greetings & salutations; peer interaction; listening skills; making choices; group cohesion; sharing & turn-taking.​

Cognitive Goals: Counting; colors; sequences; following directions; memory; reading & writing; attention to task; identification & discrimination.


  • Receptive: Listening to a song.​​

  • Recreative: Playing or singing a song you know

  • Composition: Writing a song

  • Improvisation: Playing spontaneously in the moment



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Helpful Music Therapy Links

Please click below for a list of websites that include a wide variety of topics, resources, and options for you to use and further explore music therapy.

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