As a music therapist, I am frequently asked “What is music therapy?” A simple explanation I have learned is: music therapy is the process of using music to achieve non-musical goals. Non-musical goals are based on the needs of the client. For example, if I have a client with Autism who has difficulty communicating his feelings, one of my non-musical goals could involve increasing emotional expression. Now you might be wondering, “How can you use music to help increase emotional expression?” And that is a great question! Instead of explaining how to specifically increase emotional expression, though, I will explain how we help achieve non-musical goals, in general. There are 4 different musical experiences that music therapists can use to help their clients achieve their goals.
As a Board-Certified Music Therapist working with Metro Music Makers, I provide both Music Therapy and what are called adaptive lessons. In both settings, I typically work in the home with children and adolescents who have psychiatric, developmental, behavioral or neurological diagnoses. The goals of these two types of session, however, can be very different.