What is Music Therapy?
Music therapy is an established and evidence-based health profession that involves a therapist providing music experiences to improve client health and functioning. The client uses instruments which require no prior skill while the therapist creates music on the piano, guitar, percussion, and/or via singing that engages, supports, and enhances the client's playing in order to foster things like engagement, joint attention, communication, socialization, and reduced anxiety. Recorded music and movement/dance experiences may also be used when appropriate.
Music Therapists have, at minimum, a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Therapy, over 1000 hours of internship experience, and have passed a Board Certification exam. Music therapy can be used as a standalone treatment or in conjunction with a client's other therapies to help them progress further using the highly motivating and impacting power of music. Music therapy is not necessarily about learning an instrument: the goal is to achieve a state where the client is a full participant in the music and experiences the clinically-proven benefits of active music making.
Why is Board Certification important?
Through my training as a Music Therapist, I spent years studying disorders and disabilities, honing my musicianship skills, and learning how to implement appropriate music interventions for the goals of each individual client. Of course, music can still be therapeutic even if you are not a Music Therapist. However, a Music Therapist is trained to do things like:
Adapt instruments to facilitate a client’s full participation
Understand how rhythm, musical scales, genres, and the other facets of music impact a person’s physiological, emotional, and mental state
Harness music to its fullest potential to make a measurable impact during treatment
Provide live music as opposed to recorded (when possible or necessary) to amplify the therapeutic benefits
Customize songs for the client’s personal use
Do you accept insurance?
MusicAbility is currently out-of-network for all insurance, but will provide a “superbill” for your provider to reimburse you for music therapy services. It is recommended that you confirm with your insurance provider first whether they will agree to reimburse. Most often they will require you to secure a referral from your doctor or psychologist.