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Music Therapy . Professional Overview . What is Music Therapy?. Music Therapy is an established healthcare profession that uses music to address physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs of individuals of all ages. Music Therapist use music to work on non-music goals…. Non-Music Goals….

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Music Therapy

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music therapy

Music Therapy

Professional Overview

what is music therapy
What is Music Therapy?

Music Therapy is an established healthcare profession that uses music to address physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs of individuals of all ages. Music Therapist use music to work on non-music goals…

non music goals
Non-Music Goals…
  • promote wellness
  • manage stress
  • alleviate pain
  • express feelings
  • enhance memory
  • improve communication
  • promote physical rehabilitation.
music therapy a brief history
Music Therapy: A Brief History

The earliest known writings of the use of music as a healing influence were written during the times of Aristotle and Plato

The 20th century discipline began after World War I and World War II when musicians of all types, went to Veterans hospitals around the country to play for the thousands of veterans suffering both physical and emotional trauma from the wars. The patients' notable physical and emotional responses to music led the doctors and nurses to request the hiring of musicians by the hospitals. It was soon evident that the hospital musicians needed some prior training before entering the facility and so the demand grew for a college curriculum. The first music therapy degree program in the world, founded at Michigan

history cont
History cont…

State University in 1944, celebrated its 50th anniversary in 1994. The American Music Therapy Association was founded in 1998 as a union of the National Association for Music Therapy and the American Association for Music therapy.

There are now many research journals dedicated to the studies of music and its therapeutic value's as well as organizations dedicated to the continued growth of music therapy as a profession.

Research Journals:

Journal of Music Therapy

Music Therapy Perspectives

Music therapy improves the quality of life for persons who are well and for those who are not well. Music Therapists work with all populations.
Music Therapy is often used in conjunction with other therapies such as:






who can benefit from music therapy


elderly with mental health needs, developmental and learning disabilities, Alzheimer's disease and other aging related conditions

People with…

substance abuse problems, brain injuries, physical disabilities, and acute and chronic pain,

mothers in labor

Who can benefit from music therapy?
where do music therapists work
psychiatric hospitals,

rehabilitative facilities,

medical hospitals,

outpatient clinics,

day care treatment centers

agencies serving developmentally disabled persons

community mental health centers

drug and alcohol programs, senior centers

nursing homes

nursing homes

hospice programs

correctional facilities

halfway houses


private practice

Where do Music Therapists work?
qualifications of a music therapist
Qualifications of a Music Therapist:

Education Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s of Music in Music Therapy

-Music classes include Music Theory, Sightsinging, Music History, World Music Cultures, Applied Music Lessons, Ensembles, Intro to String, Wind,

and Percussions Instruments, Class Piano

-Music Therapy classes include: Introduction to Music Therapy, Non-Verbal Communication, Choral Conducting, Psychology of Music, Music Therapy, Guitar, Music Recreational Techniques

-Psychology Courses- Intro to Brain and Behavior, General Psychology, Psychology of Women, etc (psychology electives-enough to complete a minor in psychology)

  • Three to six month internship
  • Board Certification: successfully complete the independently administered examination hold the music therapist-board certified credential (MT-BC).
where s the music
Where’s the Music?

For music to be truly effective in the healing process it is best if it is performed live. Therefore music therapist’s study guitar as a secondary instrument.

Guitars are portable, easy to carry into any environment (hospitals, schools etc.), and provide great live accompaniment for any piece of music.

where s the music cont
Music Therapists use patient preferred music.

For example, if I was working on breathing techniques with a geriatric patient that recently underwent surgery I would not want to “jam out” with Metallica’s Enter Sandman. An early Elvis Presley might be a better choice.

In conclusion, music therapists are continually building their music repertoire to fit specific clientele. For example: I currently have Patsy Cline, The Mama’s and the Papa’s, Hendrix, The Carpenters, Brittany Spears in my selection

Where’s the Music Cont.
music therapy at fsu
Music Therapy at FSU
  • PhilosophySelection and preparation in Music Therapy at Florida State University is based upon an important yet extremely simple premise -- it is, that every client receiving music therapy services should have the best clinical assistance possible.
  • This implies that every therapist should be committed to the subject of music and its therapeutic use with people. The strength of this commitment is evidenced by the academic and social behaviors of the prospective therapist in life, both in and out of the university environment.
  • The FSU Music Therapy student is characterized by diligence in the pursuit of musical and academic excellence and active dedication to the improvement of the quality of life of their fellow human beings.
Thank you for viewing my presentation…

For more information about music therapy please visit:

The College of Music website

American Music Therapy Association


Please visit Sarah Quinney’s webpage and view her powerpoint about sign language

Music Therapist use non-verbal communication (such as sign language) to communicate with special populations.