Q is for Questions

The end of the A-Z blogging challenge is near, but we’re getting to the tough letters. Today, I’ll answer some questions about music therapy.

What is music therapy? The use of how music affects the brain for the rehabilitation of communication, cognition, and motor skills. See this page for more information.

Who can benefit from music therapy? Music therapists work with people of all ages and diagnoses: newborns, infants, children, teens, adults, older adults, developmental and intellectual disabilities, neurological disorders, psychological disorders, physical disorders, mental disorders, birth, death, and quality of life.

Do you have to be a musician? No. Music therapists are using music as the medium for therapy and patients of music therapists do not have to be musicians.

How much does music therapy cost? It depends on where you live, how you receive services, and many other factors. If you are paying privately for music therapy, you can expect it to be $50-$120 per hour, depending on the situation and who you choose to work with.

Is music therapy reimbursed by insurance? Sometimes. It depends on the therapist and how and why you are receiving services, and on your insurance company. There are several music therapists in several states who are successfully billing insurance companies. But not every therapist accepts insurance.

What happens in a typical session? No session is typical, to me, because each session is individualized to meet the needs of each patient. Often, you’ll see music therapy patients playing instruments, singing songs, writing songs or composing music, listening, discussing, improvising, dancing, moving, or engaging in any kind of musical behavior.

What kind of music works best? Whatever kind of music works for the patient and the goals he or she is working towards. Usually it’s the kind of music that the patient enjoys listening too. Sometimes it’s a completely different style of music. But music therapists use rap, hip-hop, electronica, classical, country, pop, rock, ethnic, gospel, or any type of music one can think of.

Where can I find a music therapist? Contact the American Music Therapy Association or the Certification Board for Music Therapists. Or search for the local associations for music therapists. Many music therapists network with each other and can refer patients to a music therapist that will work with them.