According to the Canadian Association of Music Therapists (2016):
“Music therapy is a discipline in which credentialed professionals (MTA*) use music purposefully within therapeutic relationships to support development, health, and well-being. Music therapists use music safely and ethically to address human needs within cognitive, communicative, emotional, musical, physical, social, and spiritual domains.”
*Music Therapist Accredited
As a music therapist, I use music in a variety of ways to work towards non-musical goals, with a focus on babies, children, and young adolescents. My approach is eclectic and child-focused. I am particularly interested in the use of music as an alternative mode of communication, and I’m influenced by Resource-oriented music therapy, Creative music therapy (Nordoff-Robbins), Neurologic Music Therapy (NMT), and The field of play (Carolyn Kenny). I regularly update my skills and training and recently completely a foundations course for DIRFloortime® (developmental, individual-difference, relationship-based model). I think music therapy and Floortime are a natural fit and I’m excited to explore this model further.
Children who might benefit from music therapy include those facing challenges such as speech and communication disorders and delays, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), brain injury, cerebral palsy, genetic disorders, and developmental delays.
Some examples of potential goal areas for children include: Non-verbal communication, Staying on task, Social interaction, Encouraging physical movement, Learning to make choices, Creative self-expression, Speech goals, Increasing range of motion, Gait training, Cognitive stimulation, Bonding with parent.
For more information about how music therapy works through life, please read my blog series: Music Therapy Through Life.