Music Therapy Definition

Music therapy is the skillful use of music and musical elements by an accredited music therapist to promote, maintain, and restore mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual health. Music has nonverbal, creative, structural, and emotional qualities. These are used in the therapeutic relationship to facilitate contact, interaction, self-awareness, learning, self-expression, communication, and personal development.

Canadian Association for Music Therapy / Association de Musicothérapie du Canada Annual General Meeting, Vancouver, British Columbia, May 6, 1994


Music Therapy Scope of Practice

The services performed by an accredited music therapist include the knowledgeable use of established music therapy interventions within the context of a therapeutic/ psychotherapeutic relationship. This relationship is developed primarily through music- based, verbal and/or non-verbal communications. Music therapy processes can work to restore, maintain, and/or promote mental, physical, emotional, and/or spiritual health of all persons across the lifespan and functioning continums (including those who have severe and debilitating cognitive, neurological, behavioural and/or emotional disorders such as those outlined in the DSM-IV-TR). Music therapists conduct client assessments, develop treatment plans, implement therapy processes/treatment plans, evaluate progress, participate in research, provide clinical supervision to students/interns/professionals, work within interprofessional healthcare teams, work in private practice, and act as consultants to other professionals and the general public on the use of music to promote health and well being.     ( MTAO 2010)

© MTAO (Music Therapy Association of Ontario)
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