Music therapy has been an established health profession since 1950 but is only recently beginning to receive mainstream acceptance due to advances in brain research and increased attention in the media. The most difficult part of my career is concisely defining music therapy. Through music based strategies, I treat the whole person — behavioral, social, communication, physical, sensory-motor and cognitive — with clear boundaries about what I am not trained to do. Collaborating with other therapists, teachers and parents is a highly effective way to help my clients achieve their goals.
There are several “official” definitions of music therapy. My favorite is a relatively new definition prepared by the World Federation of Music Therapy released in 2011:
“Music therapy is the professional use of music and its elements as an intervention in medical, educational, and everyday environments with individuals, groups, families, or communities who seek to optimize their quality of life and improve their physical, social, communicative, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual health and wellbeing. Research, practice, education, and clinical training in music therapy are based on professional standards according to cultural, social, and political contexts.”
You can also learn more about music therapy by visiting the American Music Therapy Association.