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Frequently Asked Questions

Where do music therapists work?

Music therapists work in psychiatric hospitals, rehabilitative facilities, medical hospitals, outpatient clinics, day care treatment centres, agencies serving persons with developmental disabilities, community mental health centers, drug and alcohol programs, senior centers, nursing homes, hospice programs, correctional facilities, halfway houses, schools, and private practice.

What is the history of music therapy as a healthcare profession?

The idea of music as a healing influence that could affect health and behaviour is as least as old as the writings of Aristotle and Plato. The 20th-century discipline began after World War I and World War II when community musicians of all types, both amateur and professional, went to veterans’ hospitals around the country to play for the thousands of veterans suffering both physical and emotional trauma from the wars.

The patients’ notable physical and emotional responses to music led the doctors and nurses to request the hiring of musicians by the hospitals. It was soon evident that the hospital musicians needed some prior training before entering the facility and so the demand grew for a college curriculum. The first music therapy degree program in the world, founded at Michigan State University in 1944, celebrated its 50th anniversary in 1994. The American Music Therapy Association was founded in 1998 as a union of the National Association for Music Therapy and the American Association for Music therapy.

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.

In Canada, the credentials MTA, Music Therapist Accredited, are used to designate music therapists that have been accredited with the Canadian Association for Music Therapy (CAMT). The accreditation process involves completion of a 1,000-hour internship, clinical supervision, submission of a case study and other competency testing. MTA is a registered Certification Mark with the Canadian Intellectual Property Office, an agency of Industry Canada.

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. The Music Therapy Association of Ontario has substantial video links and articles that support the efficacy of Music Therapy. The site address is: http://www.musictherapyontario.com/page-1165833

BOSTON GLOBE – APRIL 2014 – MUSIC THERAPIST TAKE A MELODIC APPROACH TO HEALING HTTP://WWW.BOSTONGLOBE.COM/BUSINESS/2014/04/19/MUSIC-THERAPIST-TAKES-MELODIC-APPROACH-HEALING/Z9VNPDBTLUWLOOVYG0S5AL/STORY.HTML

WTOP – APRIL 2014 – THERAPISTS USE MUSIC AS A TOOL TO DELIVER TREATMENT

http://wtop.com/news/2014/04/therapists-use-music-as-a-tool-to-deliver-treatment

OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS BLOG – NOVEMBER 2013 – MUSIC THERAPY RESEARCH AND EVIDENCED-BASED PRACTICE

HTTP://BLOG.OUP.COM/2013/11/MUSIC-THERAPY-RESEARCH-EVIDENCE-BASED-PRACTICE/?UTM_SOURCE=TWITTER&UTM_MEDIUM=OUPACADEMIC&UTM_CAMPAIGN=OUPBLOG

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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, need for treatment and goals help to determine the types of music a music therapist may use.

How can music therapy techniques be applied by healthy individuals?

Healthy individuals can use music for stress reduction via active music making, such as drumming, as well as passive listening for relaxation. Music is often a vital support for physical exercise. Music therapy assisted labour and delivery may also be included in this category since pregnancy is regarded as a normal part of women’s life cycles.

How is music therapy utilized in hospitals?

Music is used in general hospitals to: alleviate pain in conjunction with anesthesia or pain medication; elevate patients’ mood and counteract depression; promote movement for physical rehabilitation; calm or sedate, often to induce sleep; counteract apprehension or fear; and lessen muscle tension for the purpose of relaxation, including the autonomic nervous system.

How is music therapy utilized in nursing homes?

Music is used with elderly persons to increase or maintain their level of physical, mental, and social/emotional functioning. The sensory and intellectual stimulation of music can help maintain a person’s quality of life.

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.

How is music therapy utilized in psychiatric facilities?

Music therapy allows persons with mental health needs to explore personal feelings, make positive changes in mood and emotional states, have a sense of control over life through successful experiences, practice problem solving and resolve conflicts leading to stronger family and peer relationships.

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