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Why Music Therapy?

Music Therapy is by nature creative and flexible, yet scientific and evidence-based. It requires a constant balance between science and art. 
Music is proven to engage many different parts of the brain simultaneously. Every part of our brain somehow contributes to processing music, making it one of the few activities that engages us so complexly, yet is so simple and enjoyable.

Treatment Variables

  • Clients Characteristics/Personality 
  • Goals and Objectives 
  • Musical Preferences
  • Therapists Model of Practice 
  • Setting and Resources

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Cerebral Palsy

Playing instruments such as drums or shakers could help improve hand-eye coordination and gross motor skills for clients with CP. Learning to play the piano or guitar could enhance fine motor skills. Rhythmic Auditory Stimulation (RAS) could be used to enhance walking ability by promoting balance and even gait pattern. Relationships developed in music therapy can also enhance the clients social skills.

 

Effect of Rhythmic Auditory Stimulation on Gait Performance in Children with Spastic Cerebral Palsy, Eunmi Emily Kwak, MME, MT-BC 

Autism Spectrum Disorder

For clients on the Autism Spectrum, music therapy can address a variety of different goal areas. Social skills are often achieved by learning turn-taking and listening skills. Music Attention Training can be used to enhance focus and sustained attention. Speech can also be developed through singing, vocal techniques and playing wind instruments. Many people diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder have innate musical abilities that can provide them self-confidence and improve self-esteem.

Autism Canada: Music Therapy

Developmental Delay

Music therapy can be a powerful learning tool for individuals with developmental delays. The rhythmic cues that music provides allows us to structure verbal or physical output with a clear stimulus. Music can also making learning more enjoyable, and improve academic skills and motivation. In group music therapy, important communication and social skills can be developed.

​Music Therapy: Study Says Music Key for Non-Verbal Children and Children with Speech and Language Delays, Integrated Learning Strategies​​

Acquired Brain Injury

By using the basic elements of music, such as beat and melody, music therapy can assist clients that have suffered a brain injury to regain skills during rehabilitation. Melodic Intonation Therapy can develop speech fluency and enhance word retrieval. Pattern Sensory Enhancement is the use of music to structure movement such as reaching, stretching and grasping. Music therapy can also provide emotional support to the client and family during the difficult rehabilitation process.

The use of music therapy in neuro-rehabilitation of people with acquired brain injury, Wendy L Magee

Blind and Deafblind

For individuals who are blind or Deafblind, daily communication can be a challenge. Music therapy can offer nonverbal channels of communication that allow clients to share feelings and wants. Group music therapy can also provide an enjoyable atmosphere where clients develop relationships and experience success. For Deafblind clients, music can be experienced through tactile sensations and vibration (e.g. from a drum).


Music Therapy Approach, evoking Spontaneous Movement from people with Dual-Sensory impairment, Louise Ridley 

Down Syndrome

Music therapy can assist people with Down Syndrome in various ways through carefully planned interventions. Individuals with Down Syndrome often have speech difficulties. A music therapist can use various singing interventions (such as Melodic Intonation Therapy) to enhance speech fluency and clarity. Music therapy can also achieve social goals and provide opportunities for development of self-esteem and self-worth.


​Music, music therapy, musical abilities and the role of music in the lives of children and adults with Down syndrome, Sue Buckley​​

Steps of Music Therapy Treatment

Referral 

Assessment

Goals and Objectives Setting

Treatment and Interventions​

Ongoing Evaluation 

Possible Referrals

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