WHO CAN BENEFIT FROM MUSIC THERAPY?
Your music therapist will work with you to create individualized goals within one or more of these areas.
- Mental Health: Sometimes it is easier for people to articulate things without using words. Music therapists can help individuals dealing with mental health challenges including anxiety, depression, and other concerns through music as a non-threatening, non-invasive modality. Creating music and analyzing lyrics provides a foundation for people to express thoughts and feelings. Music therapy can also assist in finding clarity and breakthroughs for individuals who may be struggling to process and understand experiences. Music therapists work with clients to rebuild self-esteem, process anxieties and life events, and gain self-understanding.
- Autism & Behavior: Just as autism is a spectrum disorder, there is a wide variety of music therapy techniques to support this particular diagnosis. Autism can present challenges with academics, social situations, behavioral and emotional regulation, impulse control, and others. Music provides a firm structure that engages the client’s entire brain; with this in mind, the music therapist can facilitate interventions based in music to help someone with autism achieve goals in the areas mentioned and in areas unmentioned. These goals can also be addressed for people who do not have autism, but experience challenges in these areas of life.
- Early Intervention Support / Pre-Academic Skills: With your permission, our music therapists connect and collaborate with your child’s early intervention team to provide continual focus on their goals in music therapy. This applies to speech therapy, occupational therapy, and other services. (This does NOT eclipse the work being done in other therapies; it simply offers more therapeutic intervention, focusing on the most important goals for your child’s development, through the motivating medium of music!) Early intervention goals can include speech and language development, fine motor and finger dexterity, walking and range of motion, bodily awareness, interactive play and turn-taking, and pre-academic skills such as counting, colors, sequencing, and following directions.
- Speech & Language: While our music therapists are not licensed speech language pathologists and do not attempt to disprove the effectiveness of speech therapy, there are music therapy techniques that can specifically target the development of speech and language. The foundations presented by melody and rhythm can help a person understand their voice’s capacity for movement and sound production, and discover a comfortable rhythm of speech through following a steady beat. Supported by music’s profound influence on the brain, there are multiple techniques designed to activate the speech areas of the brain using the components of music and assist clients with speech by first exploring rhythm and melody.
- Physical Motor Skills: Music and movement is one of the most engaging interventions used in music therapy and is a great asset for developing motor skills! For fine motor, clients will manipulate more complex handheld instruments to help strengthen their finger dexterity, and the instrument itself serves as both motivator and reward. Motivator in that the client wants to make a sound with it, and reward in that when the client performs the motor task, they get to hear the sound they’ve created. For gross motor, musical components such as volume, speed, and style/genre can imitate or elicit movements a client is instructed to perform. The music acts as motivator here, prompting the client to move in a way that follows the music. The music therapist can also model these movements while singing directions, engaging the client’s brain both musically and visually to help them perform a motor task. Additionally, there are specific music therapy techniques that target gait training and range of motion. Overall, music is an excellent support for all kinds of physical motor goals.
- Acute & Chronic Pain: Sedative music therapy techniques can be implemented to manage and ease acute or chronic pain experienced by clients. The music therapist uses receptive music listening to regulate the client’s physiological symptoms (heart rate and breathing), altering the tempo and volume of the music as needed. These receptive techniques can also be effective for clients experiencing increased anxiety or agitation. The music used in these scenarios can be either pre-recorded or live by the music therapist.