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Music Therapy
What is it? Overview Usage Side Effects and Warnings

Music Therapy Overview

Written by sshowalter.

The American Music Therapy Association states that "Music Therapy is 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."1

Music therapy interventions can be designed to:

  • promote wellness
  • manage stress
  • alleviate pain
  • express feelings
  • enhance memory
  • improve communication
  • promote physical rehabilitation.
  • Research in music therapy supports its effectiveness in a wide variety of healthcare and educational settings.

Historically, music has been used to provide relief and relaxation for many centuries but began in its modern-day form after WWI. Musicians were hired to play in veteran's hospitals and it was found that the patients benefited both physically and emotionally with the presence of music.1


  1. American Music Therapy Association. Frequently Asked Questions. Accessed on July 15, 2010 from


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