More than making music

As a music therapist, I am able to use music to draw people into therapy, to develop relationships with individuals through active music-making, and to use the music setting to help people learn new skills, relationships, and attitudes, thereby enhancing strengths and compensating for deficit areas.

But, because the individuals I see in music therapy are dealing with serious situations and significant disabilities, I cannot just make everything better by playing soothing music in the background or getting people involved in a rocking jam session. Instead, I must systematically apply pre-planned therapeutic strategies and interventions to set the occasion for making progress in specific, pre-determined target areas in keeping with their overall treatment plan or education plan. Being a music therapist is much more than making music with individuals with special needs.