What exactly is Music Therapy?

The American Music Therapy Association defines music therapy as the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional. Tuned Up Music Therapy offers both group and individual music therapy. If inquiring about music therapy for an individual or group, an assessment must be scheduled. To do so, call or e-mail the therapist for an available appointment time. Sessions typically last either 30 minutes or 1 hour and take place at the TUMT clinic. If coming to the clinic is a problem, TUMT is more than willing to offer services at your facility, if needed.

To schedule an assessment, contact our therapist today!

Music therapists assess emotional well-being, physical health, social functioning, communication abilities, and cognitive skills through musical responses; design music sessions for individuals and groups based on client needs using music improvisation, receptive music listening, song writing, lyric discussion, music and imagery, music performance, and learning through music; participate in interdisciplinary treatment planning, ongoing evaluation, and follow up.

Who can benefit from music therapy?

  • Children, adolescents, adults, and the elderly with mental health needs, developmental and learning disabilities, Alzheimers disease and other aging related conditions, substance abuse problems, brain injuries, physical disabilities, and acute and chronic pain, including mothers in labor.

Where do music therapists work?

  • Music therapists work in psychiatric hospitals, rehabilitative facilities, medical hospitals, outpatient clinics, day care treatment centers, agencies serving developmentally disabled persons, community mental health centers, drug and alcohol programs, senior centers, nursing homes, hospice programs, correctional facilities, halfway houses, schools, and private practice.

Who is qualified to practice music therapy?

  • Persons who complete one of the approved college music therapy curricula (including an internship) are then eligible to sit for the national examination offered by the Certification Board for Music Therapists. Music therapists who successfully complete the independently administered examination hold the music therapist-board certified credential (MT-BC).

Is there research to support music therapy?

  • AMTA promotes a vast amount of research exploring the benefits of music as therapy through publication of the Journal of Music Therapy, Music Therapy Perspectives and other sources. A substantial body of literature exists to support the effectiveness of music therapy.


Music Therapy & Credentialed Music Therapists

  • Music therapists must have a bachelor’s degree or higher in music therapy from one of AMTA’s 72 approved colleges and universities, including 1200 hours of clinical training.
  • Music therapists must hold the MT-BC credential, issues through the Certification Board of Music Therapists, which protects the public by ensuring competent practice and requiring continuing education.
  • Some State also require licensure fro board-certified music therapists.
  • Music Therapy is an evidence-based health profession with a strong research foundation.
  • Music Therapy degrees require knowledge in psychology, medicine, and music.


Noteworthy, but NOT Clinical Music Therapy

  • A Person with Alzheimer’s listing to an iPod with headphones of his/her favorite songs.
  • Groups such as Bedside Musicians, Musicians on call, Music Practitioners, Sound Healers, and Music Thanatologists.
  • Nurses playing background music for patients.
  • Arts educators.
  • A high school student playing guitar in a nursing home.
  • A choir singing on the pediatric floor of a hospital.
  • Celebrities performing at hospitals and/or schools.
  • A piano player in the lobby of a hospital.


Example of What Credentialed Music Therapists Do

  • Work with Congresswoman Giffords to regain her speech after surviving a bullet wound to her brain.
  • Work with older adults to lessen the effects of dementia.
  • Work with children and adults to reduce asthma episodes.
  • Work with hospitalized patients to reduce pain.
  • Work with children who have autism to improve communication capabilities.
  • Work with premature infants to improve sleep patterns and increase weight gain.
  • Work with people who have Parkinson’s disease to improve motor function.