What is music therapy?

Music therapy is the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music therapy program. It's successful in addressing physical, emotional, cognitive and social needs of individuals.

Music therapy is individualized for each of our patients, with goals that support the treatment plans of physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy. It benefits patients in rehab programs by lowering blood pressure, improving self-esteem, reducing stress and more.

Music therapy can include, but is not limited to:

  • Listening to music
  • Composing lyrics and music
  • Singing
  • Song discussion
  • Playing instruments.

Goals of music therapy

Treatments are customized to each person's ability level and musical skill isn't required to benefit from this form of therapy.

Music therapy goals depend on a patient's individual condition, needs and interests. It can help to:

  • Decrease anxiety and depression
  • Develop and enhance coping skills
  • Improve quality of life
  • Increase motivation
  • Reduce stress and increase relaxation
  • Promote physical rehabilitation
  • Promote self-expression and self-awareness
  • Normalize the hospital environment
  • Promote cognitive stimulation, sustained attention and reminiscence

Music therapy interventions can be used during physical, occupational and speech therapy sessions by:

  • Playing live music as a distraction to help increase endurance with standing/walking
  • Playing instruments to improve fine/gross motor coordination
  • Using familiar music or singing to increase facilitation of communication and cognitive stimulation
  • Using instruments to promote nonverbal self-expression

Who benefits from music therapy?

Patients at Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital can benefit from music therapy as part of their recovery journey.

For questions or additional information, contact Lucy Watts, MA, MT-BC, by emailing [email protected].