What is music therapy?
Music therapy is a professional discipline that utilises planned and controlled music to achieve therapeutic goals and aims.
Music therapy is the functional use of musical interaction to enhance and develop socialisation, communication, self-expression, and sensory-motor skills.
Music therapy sessions are “facilitated by the music therapist who draws from a variety of therapeutic processes which reflect their knowledge and experience in areas including psychology, physiology, social/behavioural sciences and human development” (Australian Music Therapy Association website, 2014).
It has been scientifically shown that music crosses multiple regions of the brain and creates neural pathways which can be of benefit to many individuals including those with: developmental delays; speech and language problems; cerebral palsy; autism spectrum disorder; intellectual, physical or emotional disabilities.
Therapeutic Characteristics of Music:
- Music captivates and maintains attention
- Music stimulates and utilises many parts of the brain
- Music is easily adapted to, and can be reflective of, a person’s abilities
- Music structures time in a way that we can understand
- Music provides a meaningful, enjoyable context for repetition
- Music provides a social context — it sets up a safe, structured setting for verbal and nonverbal communication
- Music is an effective memory aid
- Music supports and encourages movement
- Music taps into memories and emotions
- Music and the silences within it provide nonverbal, immediate feedback
- Music is success-oriented – people of all ability levels can participate
Music Therapy Sessions
Music therapy sessions are offered after school hours or on the weekends. Sessions can be individual or within a group setting. Sessions vary in length from 30 minutes to 1 hour. An initial assessment is recommended and lasts approximately 45 minutes and includes a written report.
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Book a music therapy session
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Music therapy has the ability to improve the lives of people.
Discover music as therapy
Music therapy is a professional discipline that utilises planned and controlled music to achieve therapeutic goals and aims. Music therapy is the functional use of musical interaction to enhance and develop socialisation, communication, selfexpression, and sensory-motor skills.
Sarah Fisher Dobbin
Sarah has been working in music education with students with a range of needs. This includes working in schools that cater for students with behaviour issues and emotional issues, schools for students with moderate to severe intellectual and physical disabilities and in mainstream settings.
Music therapy goals
There are a range of music therapy techniques and interventions that are used during music therapy sessions. There are planned components but there are also activities that can be used in the moment dependent upon reaction, feelings and willingness of the participant(s).
Music Therapy has been wonderful for April. She is singing with more confidence and with more articulation, making her speech clearer and easier to understand. She is enjoying all aspects of her sessions, becoming increasingly less anxious. She particularly enjoys using the microphone.
Lyn – Mother