Iron sharpens iron,
and one man sharpens another.
Miles began Music Therapy with Tempo! of Tampa Bay when we moved to Florida. Some of the goals they were working on with Miles on was his sensory input, rhythm of communication and expressive language. He really enjoyed working with Ms. Anna and was disappointed when we moved from Clearwater.
What is Music Therapy?
Music Therapy is 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.
Music therapy interventions can be designed to:
- Promote Wellness
- Manage Stress
- Alleviate Pain
- Express Feelings
- Enhance Memory
- Improve Communication
- Promote Physical Rehabilitation
Research in music therapy supports its effectiveness in a wide variety of healthcare and educational settings. Music Therapy is an established health profession in which music is used within a therapeutic relationship to address physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs of individuals. After assessing the strengths and needs of each client, the qualified music therapist provides the indicated treatment including creating, singing, moving to, and/or listening to music. Through musical involvement in the therapeutic context, clients' abilities are strengthened and transferred to other areas of their lives. Music therapy also provides avenues for communication that can be helpful to those who find it difficult to express themselves in words. Research in music therapy supports its effectiveness in many areas such as: overall physical rehabilitation and facilitating movement, increasing people's motivation to become engaged in their treatment, providing emotional support for clients and their families, and providing an outlet for expression of feelings.
What do Music Therapists do?
Music therapists assess emotional well-being, physical health, social functioning, communication abilities, and cognitive skills through musical responses; design music sessions for individuals and groups based on client needs using music improvisation, receptive music listening, song writing, lyric discussion, music and imagery, music performance, and learning through music; participate in interdisciplinary treatment planning, ongoing evaluation, and follow up.
Who is qualified to practice Music Therapy?
Persons who complete one of the approved college music therapy curricula (including an internship) are then eligible to sit for the national examination offered by the Certification Board for Music Therapists. Music therapists who successfully complete the independently administered examination hold the music therapist-board certified credential (MT-BC).
The National Music Therapy Registry (NMTR) serves qualified music therapy professionals with the following designations: RMT, CMT, ACMT. These individuals have met accepted educational and clinical training standards and are qualified to practice music therapy. Clinical music therapy is the only professional, research-based discipline that actively applies supportive science to the creative, emotional, and energizing experiences of music for health treatment and educational goals. Below are a few important facts about music therapy and the credentialed music therapists who practice it:
- Music therapists must have a bachelor’s degree or higher in music therapy from one of AMTA’s 72 approved colleges and universities, including 1200 hours of clinical training.
- Music therapists must hold the MT-BC credential, issued through the Certification Board for Music Therapists, which protects the public by ensuring competent practice and requiring continuing education. Some states also require licensure for board-certified music therapists.
- Music Therapy is an evidence-based health profession with a strong research foundation.
- Music Therapy degrees require knowledge in psychology, medicine, and music.
What are some misconceptions about music therapy?
That the client or patient has to have some particular music ability to benefit from music therapy -- they do not. That there is one particular style of music that is more therapeutic than all the rest -- this is not the case. All styles of music can be useful in effecting change in a client or patient's life. The individual's preferences, circumstances and need for treatment, and the client or patient's goals help to determine the types of music a music therapist may use.
Is there research to support Music Therapy?
AMTA promotes a vast amount of research exploring the benefits of music as therapy through publication of the Journal of Music Therapy, Music Therapy Perspectives and other sources. A substantial body of literature exists to support the effectiveness of music therapy.
How is Music Therapy utilized in schools?
Music therapists are often hired in schools to provide music therapy services listed on the Individualized Education Plan for mainstreamed special learners. Music learning is used to strengthen nonmusical areas such as communication skills and physical coordination skills which are important for daily life. Parent information for music therapy and the IEP. AMTA's Director of Government Relations, Judy Simpson, MT-BC, walks parents through the process of requesting the inclusion of music therapy on their child's IEP.
Is Music Therapy a reimbursable service?
The number of success stories involving third party reimbursement for the provision of music therapy services continues to grow as more clinicians seek this coverage. In response to the increasing demand, the music therapy profession has worked to facilitate the reimbursement process for clients of music therapy services.
The American Music Therapy Association now estimates that approximately 20% of music therapists receive third party reimbursement for the services they provide.
Music therapy is comparable to other allied health professions like occupational therapy and physical therapy in that individual assessments are provided for each client, service must be found reasonable and necessary for the individual’s illness or injury and interventions include a goal-directed documented treatment plan.
Companies like Blue Cross Blue Shield, United Healthcare, Cigna, and Aetna have all paid for music therapy services at some time. Success has occurred on a case-by-case basis when the therapist implements steps within the reimbursement process. Like other therapies, music therapy is reimbursable when services are pre-approved and deemed medically or behaviorally necessary to reach the individual patient's treatment goals.
This info can be found at American Music Therapy Association
Have you or child done Music Therapy?
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