Since 2005, the American Music Therapy Association Inc. (AMTA) has defined music therapy this way:
“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.”
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 engages in their treatment, providing emotional support for clients and their families, and providing an outlet for expression of feelings.
At Willow Song Music Therapy Services, we practice using the evidence-based technique of Neurologic Music Therapy (NMT). This approach focuses on using music and the elements of music (rhythm, melody, meter) to build pathways in the brain. In turn, we are able to train functional skills for improvement in cognitive rehabilitation, communication and coordinated motor movements.
Definition of Neurologic Music Therapy (NMT) -(Thaut, 1999)
The therapeutic application of music to cognitive, sensory, and motor dysfunctions due to neurologic disease of the human nervous system.
The brain that engages in music is changed by engaging in music.
(Dr. Michael Thaut, NeuroScientist, and Professor of Music & Music Therapy)
NMT utilizes music and rhythm to directly affect brain functioning. NMT focuses of specific, non-musical goals that are relevant to quality of life for an individual, and produces changes in the brain that extend far beyond the music therapy session. Results have been shown to drastically improve client’s everyday lives and functionality in society.
Our specialized NMT sessions can help facilitate the recovery of important skills when there has been brain damage. We have also helped our clients develop strategies to get through daily activities when coping with degenerative brain disease.
Additional resources coming soon!