What do music therapists do?
Music therapists engage children in singing, listening, moving, playing, and creative interventions with evidence-based techniques and strategies to help them become better learners. Music therapists work on developing a child’s self-awareness, confidence, readiness skills, coping skills, social behavior, and may also provide pain management techniques. Music therapists explore which music and instruments are most effective or motivating for each individual child to address areas of need. Music therapists observe the child’s behavior and interactions and assess communication, cognitive/academic, motor, social/emotional, and musical skills. After developing goals, music therapists implement personalized music therapy treatments. The therapist continues to evaluate, document responses, and progress.
Often working as a part of an interdisciplinary team, music therapists may coordinate programming with other professionals such as early intervention specialists, medical personnel, psychologists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, speech/language pathologists. Music therapists may also provide families with suggestions and resources for using music with the child at home.
According to the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA), “Music Therapy 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 program.
Music Therapy is an established health profession in which music is used within a therapeutic relationship to address physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs of individuals.”
Music therapy can benefit children with:
Autism spectrum disorder
Traumatic brain injury
Speech and language impairments