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What is Music Therapy?

And what does a music therapist do?

Music therapy is an evidenced-based and clinical practice of applying music as a medium to reach non-musical goals. These non-musical goals include:

fine/gross motor skills, verbalization, socialization, memory recall, cognitive stimulation, emotional expression, creative outlet, and quality of life. Music therapy experiences include live-singing, musical improvisation, instrument exploration, song discussion, songwriting, movement to music and much more.


Professional music therapists hold a degree in music therapy, receiving over 1200 hours of clinical training. This training includes a rigorous full time 6-month internship in a nationally accredited program (in i.e. hospitals, hospices, assisted living facilities, private practices etc.) Additionally, national accreditation is given after passing a board certification exam administered by the Certification Board for Music Therapists.

Music therapists are trained musicians with education in psychology, biology, social & behavioral sciences. They apply this education, their passion of music and helping others to enrich the lives of individuals with a variety of abilities, goals and interests.

Neurologic Music Therapy 

"Neurologic Music Therapy (NMT) is defined as the therapeutic application of music to cognitive, sensory, and motor dysfunctions due to neurologic disease of the human nervous system. NMT is based on a neuroscience model of music perception and production, and the influence of music on function changes in nonmusical brain and behavioural functions.


NMT is recognized by the World Federation of Neurologic Rehabilitation, the European Federation of Neurorehabilitation Societies, and the International Society for Clinical Neuromusicology."

The Academy of Neurologic Music Therapy, 2020

   Music Therapy Interventions   


A simple yet powerful form of intervention, the individual listens to music intentionally provided by the music therapist.


Consists of creating musical compositions and/or lyrical songwriting.


Active engagement in music through singing or playing instruments.


Music in the moment! This engages spontaneous singing or instrument play.

Brusica, K. (2014). Defining Music Therapy (3rd Ed.)

Music Therapy: Projects
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