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Music therapy is the prescribed use of music and musical interventions in order to restore maintain and improve emotional physical physiological and spiritual health and well-being Within this definition are the key elements that define interventions as music therapy While music has been used as a therapeutic mean for centuries music therapy did not emerge as an organized profession until 1950 with the establishment of the National Association for Music Therapy and the American Association for Music Therapy in 1971 When the two associations merged in 1998 the new acronym became AMTA The American Music Therapy Association AMTAs mission is To advance public awareness of the benefits of music therapy and increase access to quality music therapy services in a rapidly changing world AMTA 1998 Music therapy is prescribed by members of the clients treatment team Members can include doctors social workers psychologists teachers caseworkers or parents Music is the primary therapeutic tool Using music to establish a trusting relationship the music therapist then works to improve the clients physical and mental functioning through carefully structured activities Examples can include singing listening playing instruments composition moving to music and music and imagery exercises A trained music therapist administers music A music therapists education and training is extensive Musical interventions are developed and used by the therapist based on hisher knowledge of the musics affect on behavior the clients strengths and weaknesses and the therapeutic goals A client receives music therapy and it targets a wide range of clinical populations and client ages Music therapy works towards specific therapeutic goals and objectives Goal areas include communicative academic motor emotional and social skills It is important to be aware that while clients may develop their musical skills during treatment these skills are not the primary concern of the therapist Rather it is the affect such musical development might have on the clients physical psychological and socio-economical functioning You can find music therapists working with a wide variety
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