What is Music Therapy?
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. (American Music Therapy Association, 2011)
Music therapists assess emotional well-being, physical health, social functioning, communication abilities, and cognitive skills through musical responses; design music sessions for individuals and groups based on client needs using music improvisation, receptive music listening, song writing, lyric discussion, music and imagery, music performance, and learning through music; and participate in interdisciplinary treatment planning, ongoing evaluation, and follow up.
How is music therapy used to address communication disorders?
Music is a format in which the targeted word, phoneme, or concept can be easily added and highlighted in a way that is repetitive – providing many opportunities for the patient to hear and practice certain speech or language goals – and motivational for the patient, especially if the intervention incorporates instruments, visuals, and songs that are set up in a way that is engaging for their individual tastes and interests. For more information on how music therapy can be used to address articulation, receptive/expressive language, auditory processing, and other communication disorders, visit her blog at: ExploreMusicTherapy.wordpress.com
You can also visit Rachel’s article on music therapy/speech-language therapy collaboration featured on the American Speech and Hearing Association (ASHA) blog: blog.asha.org
Rachel See Smith, MA, MT-BC, is a board-certified music therapist with a B.A. in communication disorders and a M.A. in music therapy.
To view her website, visit: MusicTherapyServices.net