Music Therapy Defined

“The skillful use of music and musical elements by an accredited music therapist to promote, maintain, and restore mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual health.  Music has nonverbal, creative, structural, and emotional qualities; these are used in the therapeutic relationship to facilitate contact, interaction, self-awareness, learning, self-expression, communication, and personal development.”

– CAMT (Canadian Association of Music Therapy), 1994

“The specialized use of music by a credentialed professional who develops individualized treatment and supportive interventions with people of all ages and ability levels to address their social, communication, emotional, physical, cognitive, sensory and spiritual needs.”

– Certification Board for Music Therapists, 2011

“The professional use of music and its elements as an intervention in medical, educational, and everyday environments with individuals, groups, families, or communities who seek to optimize their quality of life and improve their physical, social, communicative, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual health and wellbeing.”

– WFMT (World Federation of Music Therapy), 2011

“The clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved MT program…and…an established health profession in which music is used within a therapeutic relationship to address physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs of individuals.”

– AMTA (American Music Therapy Association), 2011

“A systematic process of intervention wherein the therapist helps the client to promote health, using music experiences and the relationship that develop through them as dynamic forces of change.”

– Bruscia, 1988b: 20

“The client and therapist working together musically to promote the client’s musical health.”

– Brian Abrams, 2011

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