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 music therapy program. (The American Music Therapy Association)
Mary Raunikar Page is qualified to practice music therapy in the United Kingdom through the Health and Care Professional Council and in the United States through the Certification Board of Music Therapists. She specializes in mental health care, wellbeing, and emotional-behavioral disorders in all ages. Mary Page Music functions both solely and with Grampian Music Therapy, http://www.grampianmusictherapy.com, providing services online and locally through the Grampian area in Aberdeenshire. Mary's current online project, Music for Management (see menu), provides accessible wellbeing services to working age adults.
If I volunteer to play an instrument in a care home, is that music therapy?
Volunteer music in a care home or hospital, such as harp music or guitar-led singalongs, does count as therapeutic intervention. But it is not music therapy. Well-meaning musicians often make this mistake by presenting their charity as music therapy when the professional name is actually protected by law. Music therapy is a health care profession, meaning we conduct assessments, keep track of your progress through goals and objectives, and often work with a team of other professionals. Always check that your music therapist is registered with HCPC for quality, ethical care.
Who can receive music therapy?
You may be familiar with the testimonials about children with autism and learning disabilities benefitting from music therapy. Care home residents singing for the first time in years are also at the top of our most beloved case studies. Music therapists are trained to improve the quality of life of clients who suffer from any obstacles, setbacks, or disabilities. This can also include mental health, addiction, and the necessary preventative care. But really, anyone can receive music therapy because anyone's quality of life can be improved through a creative arts medium. My personal and professional goal is to make humans across the country aware that they can turn to creative arts therapies as a way to maintain their overall health.
What happens in a music therapy session?
This depends entirely on what one is seeking music therapy for, as well as the approach of the music therapist. There are many different models of music therapy for different populations. An individual utilizing Neurologic Music Therapy to reuse their fine motor skills after a traumatic brain injury is going to have a different set of goals than someone seeking Insight-Oriented Music Therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder. Fortunately, most music therapists are trained to fulfill the needs of every population. Some music therapists like a more structured session while others defer to the path of free improvisation. Again, this will depend on what the client needs. But I can tell you that every music therapist should start with an assessment session and follow with a timed set of objectives. Over the course of these sessions, the music therapist will keep track of whether or not these objectives are met and report this to you and the rest of your health care team. Termination occurs either when the contract has expired, the client has met his/her goals, or the music therapist decides the client is not obtaining any decided or changed objectives.
I'm not 'talented' or 'musically inclined'. How would music therapy work for me?
Participation in music therapy does NOT require any prior training on the part of the client. Yes, session content will be different between someone who has never touched an instrument and someone who has performed on a professional level. But the trick is that every human brain responds globally to organized sound, and that is why music is therapy in the first place. Very much can be determined from how a client hits a drum or fiddles with the piano keys, even in a group setting with many different skill levels. While cliche, rhythm is in all of us, and we can all create something from it, given the proper space and feeling of safety.