Music Therapy is the clincal and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a theraputic relationship by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music therapy program.Formal definition according to the American Music Therapy Association
Simply stated, music therapy is a data-based health profession that uses music as a tool to achieve non-musical goals. In order to be labeled as music therapy, treatment must be carried out by a Board Certified Music Therapist (MT-BC).
Music Therapy is...
- an effective complement to many other therapies that addresses a broad spectrum of goals in a way that is uniquely engaging to many people
- recognized as a related service under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
- recognized as a supportive service and preventative health service under the Older Americans Act of 1992
Music Therapy is NOT...
- a cure for any disability
- a replacement for other therapies and services
- a substitute for music education
Qualifications of a Music Therapist
In order to attain the Board Certified Music Therapist (MT-BC) credential, music therapists must demonstrate the following minimum qualifications:
Education: Completion of a Bachelor's degree or higher from an approved music therapy program
Internship: Completion of a closely supervised, 1,040-hour internship
Musical Skills: Exceptional skill in guitar, piano, and voice; accomplished in music theory, music history, and composition; ability to improvise rhythmically, melodically, and harmonically
Therapeutic Skills: Knowledge of a variety of populations including their strengths and needs; trained in assessment, treatment planning, data collection, and evaluation; committed to recognizing professional ethics and standards of practice