Music therapy is a discipline in which Certified Music Therapists (MTAs) use music purposefully within therapeutic relationships to support development, health, and well-being. Music therapists use music safely and ethically to address human needs within cognitive, communicative, emotional, musical, physical, social, and spiritual domains.


--Canadian Association of Music Therapists

Why music therapy?



Music has been known to have a presence within every culture. It is a universal language that supersedes individual differences. For those who are non-verbal or have difficulty expressing their feelings, music is a form of communication that does not require words. It is a safe and beautiful outlet for self-expression. One of the key aspects required for growth and learning is personal motivation. Music itself is a motivator and can lead an individual toward therapeutic goals in a desirable way. Research suggests that musical processing is a multimodal experience accessing many different parts of the brain all at once. As music stimulates neural connections among brain cells, it provides optimal cognitive development for a person.

Music therapy interventions include:  


  • Singing and playing instruments

  • Musical improvisation

  • Music and movement activities

  • Educational and instructional songs

  • Creating and recording original music

  • Listening to music                          


These interventions help to work toward goal areas such as:


  • Social

  • Psychosocial

  • Communication (receptive and expressive)

  • Language and speech

  • Gross and fine motor

  • Cognitive and academic

  • Sensory

  • Relaxation

  • Creative self-expression and a positive experience