The American Music Therapy Associations (AMTA) website states that music therapy is defined as:
“the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music therapy program.”
When I was in school, we used to practice our “elevator speech”. I didn’t realize at the time how many people would end up asking me “So what is music therapy?”. That elevator speech really came in handy!
I often explain music therapy as using music as a medium to accomplish growth in relation to health, education, and wellness. It is not about learning how to play music, but most often is experiencing change through music and therapeutic rapport.
Music therapy serves a wide range of populations including newborns in the NICU, children with special needs, adults and children in psychiatric care, and older adults in geriatric care. Music therapy is accessible to everyone and having a musical “background” is not necessary.