What is Music Therapy?
Music Therapy as defined by the American Music Therapy Association 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 training program.”
Historically, music as therapy has been in use after WW l and WW ll. In Veterans Hospitals across the country, significant positive responses and improvement in mood and behavior of veterans were observed when musicians held music sessions and played instruments with the veterans. This was the birth of Music Therapy as a profession.
Music Therapy as an Art and Science, practiced alongside other therapies compliments integrative therapies. The clinical practice of Music Therapy applies the principles of psychosocial and personality development as well as current theories of psychotherapy in its assessment and treatment plan.
At this time, various research in the fields of neurology, psychiatry, linguistics, medicine and education support the efficacy of music in child development and holistic health in adults of different ages and medical conditions.
"Appropriate music when administered in a controlled environment helps patients cope with their illness and reduce symptoms and feelings of anxiety."
Music has been largely beneficial in the treatment of children with autism, emotional and behavior disorders as well as physical handicapping conditions and mental retardation.
Cultural and anthropological studies have largely documented the role of music in the development of various civilizations. The music of a culture often defines its character and aspirations. Just listen to folk tunes and national anthems of various nations.
Over all, Music, with all its elements and healing properties, its normalizing and humanizing effects to elevate the human existence and experience, is a powerful art form, so unique, that we can all so thankfully share.
Our connections to music is so unique that it so defines us, as humans and so remarkably distinguishes us from other animal species.