Music Therapy is the enhancement of human capabilities through the planned use of musical influences on brain functioning.
I am a music therapist. I use music and how it affects the brain to address cognition, psychosocial, sensorimotor, and speech/language skills. I work in a variety of places, including hospice, medical, rehabilitation, skilled nursing, assisted living, memory care, home health, school, wellness, NICU, psychiatric, and vocational settings. I work with a variety of people, including people with developmental disabilities, intellectual disabilities, burns, respiratory diseases, heart diseases, mental illnesses, neurological disorders, brain injuries, rare disorders, orthopedic disorders, strokes, Parkinson’s, Autism, Down’s syndrome, Trisomy 13/18/related disorders, grief, depression, sleep disorders, and no disorders. I work along side doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, speech/language pathologists, audiologists, psychologists, social workers, psychiatrists, dance therapists, art therapists, drama therapists, teachers, recreation therapists, parents, and massage therapists, but I also work independently of these professionals.
I sing, play instruments, dance, move, write songs, improvise music, and occasionally play recorded music. I also help my clients sing, play instruments, dance, move, write songs, improvise music, and use recorded music to best support their needs and goals. Other therapists, and even you, may play recorded music, play instruments, sing, dance, move, write songs, and improvise music, but they (and you) are NOT music therapists or using music therapy. A music therapist deliberately uses musical influences on human brain function. So music therapists know how music affects the brain and designs music therapy sessions to influence the brain functioning of their clients to improve their ability to function or to meet their goals.
Music therapy is like physical therapy in the same way that physical therapy is like occupational therapy or speech therapy or counseling. All are designed to help people. But the way in which each discipline helps people is different.
Music therapists have very distinct and extensive training on how to use musical influences on brain functioning to enhance human capabilities.
I am a music therapist.
The Music Therapy Show is designed to be a discussion about music therapy and to answer your questions about music therapy. You can join the discussion by calling in to the live show at 646-652-2850 or posting in the chat room that is available during live broadcasts. Each show is archived as a podcast after the live show ends, so you can listen to over 5 years of episodes. You can also contact me to ask your questions about music therapy and let me know what you think about the show. I’d love to hear from you! And I look forward to discussing music therapy with you on Friday, January 24, 2014 at 11 am Central (12 noon Eastern).