Music Therapy can benefit everyone.

That’s a pretty bold statement, don’t you think? But it is true on so many different levels.

Often times I get asked, “What is Music Therapy?” After providing my concise but informal definition the question that often follows is, “So, what clients do you work with?” Though I can answer this question for myself and provide examples of my own experiences, this does not answer the question for the whole profession which may be the answer some people are looking for.

Music Therapists work with clients of all ages, from premature infants to end of life care. Need more proof? Below are some sources showing the benefits of Music Therapy with four different populations.  These are covering just a few of the MANY populations that Music Therapy can serve:

Stroke Rehabilitation- A study investigating the effects of Music Therapy on mood on post stroke patients found that Music Therapy can reduce depressed mood, have positive effects on mood, and can act as a motivator during treatment (Kim, Park, Choi, Im, Jung, Cha, Jung, & Yoon, 2011).

Chemical Dependency Treatment- In a study conducted by Silverman (2011), the researcher found that music therapy had a positive effect on patients on a detoxification unit.  Results indicated that patients displayed a significant difference concerning readiness to change when music therapy interventions were present.  Also, patient’s displayed slightly lower mean craving scores during music therapy versus verbal therapy conditions.

Cancer Treatment- Results from Bradt, J., Dileo, C., Grocke, D., & Magill, L. (2011)’s study suggests music therapy interventions have a positive impact on mood, decrease anxiety, and improve overall quality of life for patients with cancer.

Dementia Care and Hospice- Music therapy interventions have been implemented to maintain and improve cognitive skills, improve social and emotional needs, and decrease caregiver stress for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease, as well as is a form of self expression for hospice patients (Belgrave, Darrow, Walworth, & Wlodarczyk, 2011).

Also, did you know? Some facilities have their very own full-time music therapist on staff.  These facilities could include: hospitals, nursing homes, assisted livings, school systems, veterans affairs, rehabilitation centers, treatment centers, and psychiatric units.

If a facility can’t afford to put a full-time music therapist on its staff, they can still incorporate music therapy into their program by having a contract with a local music therapy private practice like Key Changes.  This is a cost-effective way to give facilities the opportunity to provide music therapy for their patients, clients, or residents.

Here at Key Changes we are fortunate enough to work with clients with a variety of ages and needs.  But we have the capabilities to serve so many more!  The possibilities are endless with a private practice.  I hope now you can see the initial statement in a new light and how Music Therapy can in fact, benefit everyone.

-Janelle M. Sikora, MM,MT-BC