This page provides some general information to assist clients, families, support workers and other health professionals in understanding what music therapy is.
The Australian Music Therapy Association (AMTA) defines music therapy as a research-based practice and profession in which music is used to actively support people as they strive to improve their health, functioning and wellbeing.
In this way, music therapy differs significantly from music education and entertainment.
Music therapy can take many different forms, spanning cognitive, motor, emotional, communicative, social, sensory, and educational domains. These are accessed through both active and receptive music experiences.
Music therapy is used in a range of settings and specific healthcare applications, with some music therapists choosing to specialise in a key area. Examples include:
The approach and techniques used by music therapists vary depending on the setting they are working in, and the purpose and objectives of their clients.
The Hills Music Therapy works primarily in the disability sector with adults, adolescents, and children with a wide range of needs.
Music therapy is used in the management of a wide range of conditions resulting from any of the following:
Types of conditions that music therapists work with include:
Registered Music Therapists (RMTs) are university trained, typically holding a Master of Music Therapy qualification. They draw on an extensive body of research and are bound by a code of ethics that informs their practice.
People can work as music therapists without being registered; however, they cannot call themself RMTs as they are not verified for the same level of training or standard of practice.
The form of a session depends on the therapeutic needs of the client and their abilities. In our work at The Hills Music Therapy, a session will typically involve:
The Australian Music Therapy Association has produced a range of resources explaining how music therapy can help with different populations. This very brief video explains a bit about the role of music therapy for kids with disabilities.
This video explains how sensory integration, emotional regulation, enjoyment, and the training to become a Registered Music Therapist play into music therapy for kids with disabilities.