Music Therapy

Music Therapy
Music therapy is a research based allied health profession aimed at improving the health, functioning and wellbeing of clients through using music to achieve non-musical goals. Music therapy addresses psychological, cognitive, emotional, behavioural, physical, communication and social aspects across health sectors including community, aged care, disability and early childhood. A music therapist must have completed a Masters in Music Therapy and be registered with the Australian Music Therapy Association (AMTA).

Music Therapy Process
Music therapy is not about just playing music, it is about identifying the needs of clients and using music to achieve those identified needs. The process involves planning, assessment, and ongoing evaluation. Clinical progress notes are written following each session and these notes contribute to the evaluation. Theoretical frameworks that form music therapy practice include humanistic, psychodynamic, resource-oriented, community music therapy and many others. The practice draws upon these frameworks to shape the program.

Music Therapy Goals
Music therapy aims to intentionally achieve specific client goals, which could include (Gallagher & Steele, 2002):

  • Quality of Life: To improve their quality of life
  • Choice: To give them choice through song selection
  • Connection: To connect them to a past time of their healthier self
  • Cohesion: To reduce feelings of isolation
  • Relaxation: To improve calmness and relaxation
  • Emotional Support: To explore thoughts and feelings through music, allowing for emotional and self-expression
  • Coping: To use music as a coping mechanism
  • Confidence: Improve their self esteem
  • Community: To give a sense of community, a chance to socially interact and improve group cohesion
  • Motivation: To improve motivation

Music Therapy Activities
These activities are methods and interventions that promote achieving the above-mentioned goals
  • Group singing
  • Song choice
  • Song writing
  • Recording a song
  • Song sharing
  • Music trivia
  • Instrument playing and improvisation