Music therapy can be used to address various areas.

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Early Intervention/Infant Developmental Programs

  • Cognitive, physical and sensory stimulation
  • Motor skills
  • Orientation and mobility (i.e. spatial awareness, confidence to move, gait, direction, and gross & fine motor skills)
  • Social skills
  • Speech, language and vocal skills
  • Bonding with a parent/guardian

Developmental Disabilities

  • Expression in people who either are nonverbal or have deficits in communication skills
  • Experiences that open the way for, and motivate, learning in all domains of functioning
  • Positive, successful, and pleasurable social experiences not otherwise available to them
  • Develops awareness of self, others, and the environment that improves functioning on all levels,  enhances well-being.
  • Focus on task orientation such as attention span, focus and ability to participate in activities

Autism Spectrum Disorders

  • Interupt patterns of isolation and social withdrawal
  • Facilitate communication, both verbal and nonverbal
  • Decrease behaviours characteristic of disturbed perceptual and motor functioning
  • Enhance appropriate and integrated perceptual and motor development
  • Facilitate creative self-expression and promote emotional satisfaction
  • Increase quality of life through a musical environment and therapeutic relationship

Mental Health Issues

  • The emotional, expressive nature of music can serve as a bridge to self-awareness, insight, and identification of feelings
  • Music stimulates association, affect, and imagery.
  • Music, through its structure and order, can serve as a grounding experience
  • The flexible and supportive nature of music therapy allows for a comfortable, non-threatening, and creative environment
  • Group music experiences can create bonding and a sense of community among clients

Long-term Care Facility Programming, Including Group Homes and Geriatric Settings:

  • Provide motivation for physical activity, and distraction from associated pain
  • Facilitate reality orientation and stimulate short and long term recall
  • Facilitate the acquisition and/or maintenance, of cognitive skills
  • Establish and/or maintain social awareness and interaction
  • Facilitate reminiscence, life review and validation of life experiences
  • Reduce aggressive behaviours and wandering
  • Provide opportunities for self-expression
  • Increase self-esteem
  • Improve circulation and improve muscle strength and tolerance

Palliative Care and Bereavement Programs

Music therapy can be used to explore some of the following in bereavement:

  • Explore feelings through expression, validation and sharing
  • Explore how family/life has changed after loss
  • Discuss and create coping strategies using music
  • Musical ways of remembering a person
  • Build trust (in the group and others) through a therapeutic relationship

Music therapy in Palliative Care can provide:

  • Active/passive music making to express feelings
  • Listening/discussing special songs
  • Life review
  • Relaxation
  • Decrease anxiety
  • Decrease perception of pain

Programs Addressing Trauma and Abuse

  • Explore feelings through expression, validation and sharing
  • Emotional management and coping
  • Assertiveness, Self-esteem
  • Self-identity, hope

                  For children:

  • Bonding (experiential, communicating)
  • Fun, relaxation
  • Increased activities for use outside of sessions
  • Emotional expression & exploration
  • Safe environment
  • Shared positive experience