Music Therapy

What is Music Therapy?

Music TherapyMusic therapy is defined as "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" (American Music Therapy Association definition, 2005).

Music therapists have bachelors, masters, and/or doctoral degrees in music therapy and receive training in music, behavioral science and basic medical knowledge. They are certified by the Certification Board for Music Therapists (CBMT) and licensed by the New York State Education Department's Office of the Professions. Those who pass the national music therapy certification examination earn the credential Music Therapist-Board Certified (MT-BC) and those who are licensed in New York State are called Licensed Creative Arts Therapist (LCAT). Our music therapy program also serves as a clinical practicum and internship site for bachelors and masters level students in an accredited music therapy program.

How can music therapy improve health?

Music therapy is provided when requested by the attending physician, a member of the nursing staff, a social worker, or a Child Life Specialist. Music therapists develop specific treatment goals based on the patient and family’s input and feedback from the patient’s medical team. Techniques include singing, listening to music, playing instruments, lyric analysis, songwriting, improvisation, creating a "Life Soundtrack", and music-assisted relaxation. Instruments such as guitars, keyboards, drums and other percussion instruments are available. Most music therapy is provided one-on-one in the patient’s room.

Music Therapy may:

  • Alleviate pain
  • Ease anxiety
  • Enhance quality of life
  • Improve breathing
  • Reduce depression
  • Regulate heart rate and blood pressure

EPAM will increase the Music Therapy and Creative Arts Therapy services offered in our hospitals.