Many people are already famil­i­ar with music’s abil­ity to uplift the mood or help you relax, but many aren’t aware that there is a form­al prac­tice of using music to address vari­ous needs of indi­vidu­als. In this art­icle, you will learn more about music ther­apy and what it entails, and how you can take advant­age of it.

Defining Music Therapy

Enjoy­ing music, at the most basic level, is a thera­peut­ic activ­ity, and people can greatly bene­fit from it any­time.

Using this basic concept and under­stand­ing, music has been util­ized in a clin­ic­al and pro­fes­sion­al sense to help people with their phys­ic­al and men­tal health con­cerns.

This is appro­pri­ately known as music ther­apy, and like oth­er forms of ther­apy, pro­fes­sion­als must be trained and cer­ti­fied, just like with oth­er meth­ods such as cog­nit­ive-beha­vi­or­al ther­apy, inter­per­son­al ther­apy, and accept­ance and com­mit­ment ther­apy, which you can learn about here:


Like these oth­er types of ther­apy, music ther­apy is also evid­ence-based, mean­ing that it is backed by adequate sci­entif­ic research. Ses­sions will typ­ic­ally last between 30 minutes to an hour, atten­ded once a week, and can be on a one-on-one basis or as a group. It also works on people of all ages.

As you con­tin­ue to read, you’ll become famil­i­ar with the dif­fer­ent ways music can be used to help people with phys­ic­al, emo­tion­al, social, and cog­nit­ive aspects in their lives and see pos­it­ive changes in them.

Examples of Music Therapy

Although cas­u­ally listen­ing to music can be help­ful and be very bene­fi­cial, music ther­apy is much more involved and there are often spe­cif­ic goals that will be cre­ated by you and your ther­ap­ist.

People who par­ti­cip­ate in music ther­apy can learn how to per­form music, impro­vise, and com­pose, and while it might improve a person’s musi­cian­ship skills, the aim is to tar­get non-music­al goals, such as com­mu­nic­a­tion, cog­ni­tion, emo­tion­al, beha­vi­or­al, social, and motor skills.

Here are some examples:

  • Singing can help people with speech troubles or breath con­trol,
  • Learn­ing an instru­ment can help patients with motor dis­ab­il­it­ies and atten­tion-skills
  • Impro­visa­tion can encour­age free expres­sion
  • Group per­form­ance can facil­it­ate com­mu­nic­a­tion and team-build­ing

Any instru­ment can be used in music ther­apy, but singing, gui­tar, piano, and per­cus­sion are among the most pop­u­lar. What’s most import­ant is work­ing with a ther­ap­ist to fig­ure out what you are inter­ested in most and assess­ing your goals so that you can make optim­al pro­gress.

Who Is Music Therapy For?

From kids with aut­ism spec­trum dis­order or atten­tion defi­cit hyper­activ­ity dis­order to eld­erly indi­vidu­als strug­gling with demen­tia or who have recently exper­i­enced a stroke, music ther­apy can be help­ful for people of any age who are strug­gling with just about any con­cern, but you don’t neces­sar­ily need to have a debil­it­at­ing con­di­tion to enjoy these activ­it­ies.

Get­ting involved with music can have phys­ic­al and men­tal bene­fits, and if you’re simply look­ing to de-stress and learn how to cope with your feel­ings and emo­tions, music ther­apy may be right for you.

Accord­ing to the Amer­ic­an Music Ther­apy Asso­ci­ation, you can find and con­nect to ther­ap­ists in this field in vari­ous loc­a­tions, such as schools, hos­pit­als, com­munity cen­ters, rehab­il­it­a­tion clin­ics, and seni­or cen­ters, depend­ing on your age and per­son­al needs.

Once you are assessed at the loc­a­tion of your choice, you can get star­ted on the path to recov­ery in a fun, excit­ing, and very inter­act­ive way.


Hope­fully, this art­icle has shown you how music ther­apy can bene­fit those with dif­fer­ent issues and how it may poten­tially be a valu­able asset in your own life. Reach out today and see if music ther­apy aligns with your goals, and per­haps you will find a new lifelong hobby that can improve your health, make you feel more con­fid­ent and empowered, and uplift your spir­it when you need it.

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Marie Miguel

Marie Miguel

Mar­ie Miguel has been a writ­ing and research expert for nearly a dec­ade, cov­er­ing a vari­ety of health- related top­ics. Cur­rently, she is con­trib­ut­ing to the expan­sion and growth of a free online men­tal health resource with BetterHelp.com. With an interest and ded­ic­a­tion to address­ing stig­mas asso­ci­ated with men­tal health, she con­tin­ues to spe­cific­ally tar­get sub­jects related to anxi­ety and depres­sion.
Marie Miguel

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About Marie Miguel

Marie Miguel
Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.