FAQs

Where do music therapists work?

Music therapists work in psychiatric hospitals, rehabilitative facilities, medical hospitals, outpatient clinics, day care treatment centers, agencies serving persons with developmental disabilities, community mental health centers, drug and alcohol programs, senior centers, nursing homes, hospice programs, correctional facilities, halfway houses, schools, and private practice.

How might music therapy benefit me or my child?

A. The key take home message with music therapy is that it uses the powerful medium of music to target non musical areas of functioning. These areas may include speech/language deficits, cognitive ability, sensorimotor functioning, or social skills (especially in individuals with Autism). A board-certified music therapist is trained to use music to facilitate the child’s progress.

A music therapist can also help parents better understand how to use music in the home to help in everyday tasks. Transition songs, for example, may make a tremendous difference in helping a child move from one activity to the next with minimized tantrums. Task analysis songs that go through steps of how to wash hands or brush teeth, may help a child more readily acquire the skill. The possibilities of how to use music in the home are endless!

Who is qualified to practice music therapy?

Persons who complete one of the approved college music therapy curricula (including an internship) are then eligible to sit for the national examination offered by the Certification Board for Music Therapists. Music therapists who successfully complete the independently administered examination hold the music therapist-board certified credential (MT-BC).

How is music therapy utilized in schools?

Music therapists are often hired in schools to provide music therapy services listed on the Individualized Education Plan for mainstreamed special learners. Music learning is used to strengthen nonmusical areas such as communication skills and physical coordination skills which are important for daily life.

Should I try music therapy? How do I know whether it will be effective?
  1. Look at the research! If you have a child with a disability, you are likely actively looking for the best and most effective ways to help your child. Perhaps you’ve heard about music therapy in passing, or went to a conference presentation, or have been referred for services. With so many options on how to help your child, it is difficult to decide what you feel is the best route to take.
  2. When considering music therapy, think of a few key factors first.

1) Is your child motivated by music?
2) Is your child more engaged when music is present?
3) Does your child accomplish tasks or transitions more easily when facilitated by music?

If you feel like music is an integral part of your child’s life, bring them in for an assessment! The goal of music therapy is to use music to target non-musical areas such as speech/language, cognition, and sensorimotor areas, and there’s no telling what your child may accomplish with the addition of this viable therapy!

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