What is music therapy? The long answer.
Music therapy is an established clinical intervention, which is delivered by registered music therapists to help people whose lives have been affected by injury, illness or disability through supporting their psychological, emotional, cognitive, physical, communicative and social needs.
As human beings, music plays a fundamental role in our identity, culture, heritage and spiritual beliefs. It is a powerful medium that can affect us all deeply. In music therapy, music therapists draw upon the innate qualities of music to support people of all ages and abilities and at all stages of life; from helping new born babies develop healthy bonds with their parents, to offering vital, sensitive and compassionate palliative care at the end of life.
Everyone has the ability to respond to music, and music therapy uses this connection to facilitate positive changes in emotional wellbeing and communication through the engagement in live musical interaction between client and therapist. It can help develop and facilitate communication skills, improve self-confidence and independence, enhance self-awareness and awareness of others, improve concentration and attention skills. Central to how music therapy works is the therapeutic relationship that is established and developed, through engagement in live musical interaction
and play between a therapist and client. A wide range of musical styles and instruments can be used, including the voice, and the music is often improvised. Using music in this way enables clients to create their own unique musical
language in which to explore and connect with the world and express themselves.
What is a music therapy session like?
Each session is uniquely designed to meet the needs of the individual clients. Therapists and client engage in a variety of musical interaction such as Improvisation, Song-writing, Lyric Analysis, Music Listening, Guided Imagery, Singing as well as Verbal discussion.
What’s the difference between music therapy and listening to an iPod/Spotify/Youtube with headphones on my own?
We have all experienced the power of music, when one’s mood can be quickly transformed as we listened to different genre of music on our own. However it is different from music therapy which emphasize on fostering a therapeutic relationship by using different musical and verbal interventions to address specific clinical goals such as pain relieve, emotional expression, memory enhancement, improved communication, promoting physical rehabilitation and stress relieve.
What’s the difference between music therapy and music education?
The goals between a music therapy session and a music lesson are very different. Music lesson is about learning musical skills and knowledge such as performance technique, repertoire, music notation, theory and aural training.
Music therapy is about using music as a tool to achieve non-musical goals such as improving social, communication, cognitive, emotional, motor, academic skills.
What kind of music are used in music therapy?
There are no specific style of music used in music therapy, 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's goals help to determine the types of music a music therapist may use in each session.