What is Music Therapy?

drums and guitarMusic 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.

Neurologic Music Therapy is defined as the therapeutic application of music to cognitive, sensory, and motor dysfunctions that come from the human nervous system. NMT is based on a neuroscience model of music perception and production and the influence of music on functional changes in nonmusical brain and behavior functions. Treatment techniques in NMT are based on
scientific research and are directed towards functional therapeutic goals. Treatment techniques are standardized and applied to therapy as Therapeutic Music Interventions, which are adaptable to each individual’s needs. In addition to music therapy training, Neurologic Music Therapists are educated in the areas of neuroanatomy/physiology, brain pathologies, medical terminology, and rehabilitation of cognitive and/or motor functions. (Thaut, Michael “Training Manual for Neurologic Music Therapy).

Music Therapy At Reasons

Music therapy groups at Reasons include lyric analysis, song writing and composition (both individually and as a group), lyric discussion, creative expression through music, therapeutic singing and vocalizing, and education on emotional response and regulation through music.  In addition, focus is placed on increasing body awareness through rhythmic activities, such as drumming and body percussion, toning and humming, and providing a safe experience to express a wide range of emotions.

Melissa Music Therapist Pic

Melissa St. John, Neurologic Music Therapist

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.  Music therapy is process-oriented rather than performance-based, and individuals actively participate in musical interventions to achieve functional therapeutic outcomes. Individuals do not need to have any prior musical abilities or experience in order to benefit from music therapy.

Music is a very powerful tool with the brain. Just listening to music activates both hemispheres of the brain.  In addition, music is very organizing and predictable. Music is processed in all areas of the brain and has the ability to access and stimulate areas of the brain that may not be accessible through other modalities. Music enhances and optimizes the brain, providing more efficient therapy. Music Therapy is unique in its ability to captivate and maintain attention, and it naturally motivates clients to work on their functional goals, feeling not threatened and motivated.

Read more here about our Neurologic Music Therapist, Melissa St. John