Music therapy is an often foreign profession to many and is usually followed up with the question, “What is music therapy and how does it work?.” The field continues to grow nationwide. We take pride in explaining our awesome career and love to see the look on peoples faces when they better understand what we do. Here are a few fun facts about music therapy!
1. Over 1.6 million people served each year
Music therapists around the world have the privilege of serving over 1.6 million people per year in numerous settings. This number continues to increase annually thanks to media coverage, word of mouth, and research. We look forward to watching this number rise in the years to come!
2. Music therapy is an accredited healthcare profession
The music therapy profession began in the 1940’s when musicians were providing music for soldiers experiencing emotional and physical traumas. Since then, the field of music therapy has grown tremendously and requires schooling, training, and certification.
To become a professional music therapist, one must hold a bachelor’s degree as well as complete a clinical internship followed by 1200 clinical hours of post-internship work. Once completed, music therapists are eligible to sit for the national board exam to become a credentialed professional. Some states also require individual state licensure to practice music therapy.
3. No client musical background or training is necessary
All music therapy sessions are centered around the client and their talents and abilities. Our goal is to focus the musical experience around the client while fully being involved and enjoying the process of music-making. Music therapists design the sessions to ensure the client is successful in all capacities despite musical training or background. No matter the musical preference or understanding, music therapy can have a healing effect on all. People often state that they “aren’t musicians,” but we all have an innate response to rhythm and music found in our bodies; our heart beat, breathing, walking…all rhythmic!
4. Music therapy can benefit all ages
From the NICU to hospice and palliative care, music therapy is available to all ages. Music therapy is often stereotyped toward children only. Although true, we provide services to SO many other populations! We can be found in eldercare facilities, school settings, mental health facilities, adult day programs, and medical facilities just to name a few. We are proud to serve all ages and needs here at MMT!
5. Music therapy is evidence-based and research-supported
Music therapy is a fun, non-invasive tool to achieve therapeutic goals. Music therapy can benefit us spiritually, emotionally, cognitively, and physically. Music therapists reference evidence-based research to determine the best possible interventions to use to effectively meet the individualized needs of our clients. This research allows us to continue growing as a profession and share the effectiveness with other professions, treatment team members, and individuals we encounter.
The American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) contains information on accessing research articles and other details regarding music therapy as a profession on their website. Googling “music therapy” will also give various resources toward current research, real-life stories, and information regarding its effectiveness backed by science.