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Music Therapy
Jennifer Drees
Jen Drees, music therapist at Main Street Music
What is Music Therapy

Music therapy is an established health profession in which music and music experiences are used within a therapeutic relationship to address physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs of individuals.  The field of music therapy is clinical and evidenced-based, which means interventions evolve from and inform research and theory.  After a period of assessing a client’s strengths and areas of need, music therapists engage with clients through a variety of music therapy interventions, which may include improvising, writing, singing, moving to, or listening to and discussing music.  It is hoped that these experiences allow clients to grow musically and personally, encouraging growth in other areas of life.

Who Can Benefit

Since music therapy is client centered and goal directed, and follows a comprehensive process of assessment, treatment and evaluation, many persons may benefit from the client therapist relationship which is built on trust and empathy.  Music therapy has been shown to positively benefit the lives of many, including those with ADD/ADHD, autism,learning issues, language delay, emotional disorders such as anger and adjustment disorders, stress and anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, addictions, and medical conditions such as stroke, cancer, and hospice care.

What Are the Goals and What Can You Expect

There are many examples of goals which are unique to client’s strengths and needs.  Some possible goal areas are:

- Improve social skills and self-expression
- Increase attention to task
- Promote positive self-concept
- Increase verbal and musical communication
- Improve attention to task
- Decrease anxiety and develop coping skills for stress and anxiety
- Improve communication of needs and desires
- Promote individuality and decision-making skills
- Processing of past trauma experiences in a safe container

Music therapy sessions are individualized, which means many interventions are used in order to meet mutually determined goals.  Singing, playing instruments, moving to music, focused listening, music facilitated relaxation, composing music, and/or music and art media activities may be used in sessions.

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