Let’s answer your questions!

Music Therapy naturally comes with questions. The title “music therapy” doesn’t describe what it is.  Physical, Occupational, and Speech Therapy offer some insight into the areas they address based solely on what they are called. Music Therapy is titled by the medium it uses, music, instead of the areas we address as therapists. Music therapy covers several goal areas and impacts the brain in many ways to assist a person in learning, moving, and expressing.

What is music therapy?

Music therapy is defined as the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals for people of all ages and ability levels within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music therapy program.

A music therapist is an individual who has completed the education and clinical training requirements established by the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) and who holds current board certification from The Certification Board for Music Therapists (CBMT).

Who can provide music therapy?

A board-certified music therapist is the only healthcare professional qualified to provide music therapy. If you see “MT-BC” behind the therapist’s name, you know you have the right person. Music therapists complete a degree in music therapy from an approved program and 1200 clinical training hours to sit for the board exam.

In the State of California, music therapists have title protection, so no one else may claim to be a music therapist without the “MT-BC” certification.

Who can benefit from music therapy services?

Anyone can benefit from services. Children, adolescents, adults, and the elderly with a variety of needs including mental health, developmental and learning disabilities, dementia, and other aging-related conditions, substance abuse problems, brain injuries, physical disabilities, and acute and chronic pain, including mothers in labor.

This list is not exhaustive. Music therapy interventions can address self-expression, respiratory issues, stress management, and motor functioning.

Is musical ability required to have music therapy?

Absolutely, not! You do not have any music skills for music therapy interventions to work. It’s ok if you “can’t” sing or you’ve never played an instrument.

If you have ever been told you “can’t” or “shouldn’t” sing, I am sorry someone said that to you. It was mean and hurtful. It was not ok and has probably stolen a lot of joy from your life. We encourage everyone to sing (when appropriate) no matter their ability. Your voice is fine and you can sing.

Does insurance cover music therapy?

Currently, insurance does not cover music therapy services in California.

What is the process for getting services?

You can contact us via phone or email. We will discuss what you or the needs of your loved one are and what you are hoping to accomplish. During the first few sessions, an assessment will be completed, and we will discuss appropriate goals to work on.

What happens during a session?

The music therapist guides the individuals/groups through multiple interventions to grow or recover skills. You or your loved one will be playing instruments, singing, and doing work even though it may not feel like it. Frequently, people enjoy their music therapy sessions.

What types of goals can be addressed?

Goals for music therapy treatment can address a variety of needs. At times we may even overlap with other professional goals, but we use music to reach the desired outcome.

Goal domains may include: physical, mental, academic, developmental, and/or spiritual.

Why do you provide groups?

We provide group music therapy experiences because this creates a space of cooperation and understanding. It allows the individuals we serve to be supported by their peers as well as the therapist and everyone can learn from each other. It also takes some of the pressure off the individual and gives time for them to process and respond to the music information being presented.

Do you train music therapists?

Yes, this practice provides clinical training hours for music therapy students in both their college fieldwork and internship. You may have a student therapist working with you or your loved one during sessions. Be assured that these individuals are being supervised and observed and only lead a session when fully ready.