Music Therapy With Melody
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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 therapy improves the quality of life for persons who are well and meets the needs of children and adults with disabilities or illnesses. Music therapy interventions can be designed to promote wellness, manage stress, alleviate pain, express feelings, enhance memory, improve communication, and promote physical rehabilitation. (American Music Therapy Association) (www.musictherapy.org)

What is Neurologic Music Therapy?

Neurologic Music Therapy is defined as the therapeutic application of music to cognitive, sensory, and motor function due to neurologic disease of the human nervous system. Neurologic Music Therapy is research-based. Its treatment techniques are based on the scientific knowledge in music perception and production and the effects thereof on nonmusical brain and behavior functions. Populations served by Neurologic Music Therapists include, but are not limited to: stroke, traumatic brain injury, Parkinson's and Huntington's disease, cerebral palsy, Alzheimer's disease, autism, and other neurological diseases affecting cognition, movement, and communication. (Robert F. Unkefer Academy of Neurologic Music Therapy, Colorado State University) (www.colostate.edu/Dept/cbrm/academymissionstatement.html)

How Does Music Therapy Work?

Music therapy begins with a referral by the client himself or herself, or his or her health care professional, clergy, other therapist, case worker, or in the case of children, the parents or the school. There is an assessment in which the client and therapist determine the course of therapy. Family and loved ones may assist as appropriate. The therapist begins music interventions based on the goals, and evaluates progress. The therapist prepares documentation for the client at regular intervals. Music therapists are bound by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and all records are held confidential. Music therapy sessions are highly individualized based on client needs and musical preferences.

What Music Therapy is NOT:

  • Applied music lessons, although applied music lessons may be used as part of the overall therapy.
  • Musical entertainment, although sessions are enjoyable and may facilitate appropriate use of leisure time, if this is a goal.
  • A therapy limited to persons with musical ability. Progress is not measured by musical talent. Most people can benefit from music therapy.
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