What Do Music Therapists Do?
Music therapists assess, via a client’s musical responses, all aspects of a client’s being- including their emotional well-being, physical health, social functioning, communication abilities, and cognitive skills. Once an assessment has been made, the music therapist designs and implements music sessions for individuals and groups based on client needs using music improvisation, receptive music listening, song writing, lyric discussion, music and imagery, music performance, and learning through music. Music therapists engage in interdisciplinary treatment planning, ongoing evaluation, and follow up.
In order to practice music therapy, one must have first completed an American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) approved college music therapy curricula (including an internship of at least 900 hours) to then be eligible to sit for the national examination offered by the Certification Board for Music Therapists. Music therapists who successfully complete the independently administered examination hold the music therapist-board certified credential (MT-BC).
Who may benefit from music therapy?
Those with mental health needs, developmental and learning disabilities, Alzheimer’s disease and other aging-related conditions, substance abuse problems, brain injuries, physical disabilities, and acute and chronic pain, including mothers in labor can benefit from music therapy. Healthy individuals can also benefit from the use of music therapy techniques to promote stress reduction and relaxation.
Where do music therapists work?
Music therapists work in psychiatric hospitals, rehabilitative facilities, medical hospitals, outpatient clinics, day care treatment centers, agencies serving developmentally disabled persons, community mental health centers, drug and alcohol programs, senior centers, nursing homes, hospice programs, correctional facilities, halfway houses, schools, and private practice.
What are some misconceptions about music therapy?
A common misconception about music therapy is that the client or patient has to have some particular music ability to benefit from music therapy — they do not. Additionally, there is no one particular style of music that is more therapeutic than all the rest. All styles of music can be useful in effecting change in a client or patient’s life. The individual’s preferences, circumstances and need for treatment, and the client or patient’s goals help to determine the types of music a music therapist may use.
Is there research to support music therapy?
A substantial body of literature exists to support the effectiveness of music therapy, including The Journal of Music Therapy and Music Therapy Perspectives published by the AMTA.
Do you work with the state Medicaid waivers?
No, I’m not currently working with the Medicaid waiver program in Colorado, but I know music therapists who are, and I’d be happy to give you recommendations based on what type of music therapy services you are looking for.
Do you accept insurance?
Through SonderMind, I’m credentialed as an in-network provider through Aetna, Anthem (HMO and PPO), Cigna, United Healthcare and ComPsych. I’m also credentialed through Profile EAP, which is available to employees of Centura Health.
For all other insurances companies, I can write you up a superbill that you can submit to your insurance company so that they can reimburse you. For private-pay, non-contract services, I do require payment at the time of service.
Do you offer a sliding scale?
I do offer a sliding scale fee in some circumstances for individuals and non-profit community organizations interested in providing community music therapy services. This is based on need. Please contact me for more information.