Overview of the Music Therapy Profession

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The profession of music therapy in the United States has a rich history and has grown considerably over the past few decades. Music therapy is the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to achieve individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship with a credentialed music therapist. Music therapists in the United States go through rigorous training to earn the MT-BC (music therapist-board certified) credential. Individuals of all ages have been shown to benefit from music therapy, and treatment may occur in a wide range of settings, including children’s facilities and schools, mental health settings, medical settings, geriatric facilities, hospice and bereavement services, and private practice settings. Music therapists may address cognitive, communicative, emotional, musical, physiological, psychosocial, sensorimotor, or spiritual goals. Broadly speaking, music therapy interventions may involve listening to music, talking about music, making music, and/or moving to music; the specific intervention or interventions are selected based on the specific needs, abilities, goals, and preferences of the client. Live, preferred music, although not used with every client, has been shown to be highly effective in helping bring about therapeutic change. Various approaches to music therapy exist, and the research base on music therapy treatment, while already strong, is rapidly growing.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMusic Therapy
Subtitle of host publicationResearch and Evidence-Based Practice
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9780323485609
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


  • creative arts therapies
  • expressive arts therapies
  • music therapist
  • music therapy
  • rehabilitation science

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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