Music therapy integrates music and all of its elements and delivers it through a therapeutic protocol to provide healing of mind, body, emotion and spirit. Music, by its very nature, embodies creative, emotional, structural and nonverbal language. A trained music therapist uses this technique to initiate contact with the client and to help foster a relationship that will allow the client to gain self-awareness, personal development and self-expression through communication and knowledge.
Music has been used as a tool for healing for centuries. The modern methodology of music therapy was developed in the early 20th century and was delivered through traveling music groups who played for Veterans throughout the country during and after both World Wars. These musicians saw clients receive respite from emotional, mental, and physical injuries as a result of the musical structure. Doctors and clinicians attending to the clients began to realize the powerful effects that music played in the healing process and began requesting proper training of musicians for the appropriate delivery of music as a therapeutic method. Eventually, music therapy became part of the college curriculum, beginning at Michigan State University in 1944. Since that time, music therapy has evolved and grown, and as recently as 1998; The American Music Therapy Association was founded to provide awareness, training, education and opportunity for those interested in music therapy.
Music therapy elicits various responses that would not otherwise appear with more traditional forms of treatment. The selection and diversity of music styles allows for wide application of this therapy. It can be used successfully as a targeted treatment through the use of specific music elements and can help people who would otherwise not respond to therapy, be able to communicate on a holistic and creative level. Music therapy has many healing properties and is used for the treatment of psychological, emotional, physical and physiological issues.
- American Music Therapy Association
- Canadian Association for Music Therapy
- British Society for Music Therapy
- New Zealand Society for Music Therapy
Last updated: 07-02-2015