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What is Music Therapy?

Music as a clinical tool to create positive change.

According to the Certification Board for Music Therapists: “Music therapy is the specialized use of music by a credentialed professional who develops individualized treatment and supportive interventions for people of all ages and ability levels to address their emotional, cognitive, physiological, physical, social and sensory needs." 


Music therapy is an established health care intervention that is recognized as a valuable treatment option by many, including the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Defense, and the National Intrepid Center of Excellence. 

Music therapy is a powerful, non-invasive, and non-pharmacological medium capable of unique outcomes. A continued stream of clinically based research significantly backs its efficacy. 


Music therapy is categorized under the larger field of "Creative/ Expressive Arts Therapies," which also includes Art & Dance Therapy. Common populations music therapists work with are: Neonatal, Pediatrics, Psychiatrics, Adult Medical, Veterans, Geriatrics, Rehabilitation, Palliative Care, and Hospice.  

Music therapy is accessible to all and can be used individually and with groups. Clients benefit by active engagement in the therapeutic process which may include creating, learning, listening to, or performing music. The music therapist designs and implements a customized treatment plan to best meet each client's needs after taking an initial assessment of the client's conditions and goals. The effectiveness of treatment is determined through continued assessment and evaluation of the client’s progress towards their therapy goals.


For more information about music therapy, visit the American Music Therapy Association.

 
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Benefits of Music Therapy

Increase in Relaxation 

All ages

Decrease in Heart Rate

All ages

Increase in Oxygen Saturation

All ages

Pain Management

All ages

Decrease in Depression & Anxiety

All ages

Decrease in PTSD

All ages

Strengthening of Neuroconnections

All ages

Increase in Developmental Skills

All ages

Increase in Positive Stimulation

All ages

Increase in Fine & Gross Motor Skills

All ages

Increase in Self - Expression

All ages

Increase in Self-Soothing & Self-Regulation

Infants - all ages

Increase in Visual Tracking

Infants - all ages

Increase in Infant Vocalizations

Infants

Increase in Tolerance to Neurodevelopmental Stimulation

Infant - Toddlers

Increase in Breastfeeding

Infants

Increase in Infant-Caregiver Bonding

Infants

Increase in Positive Memory - Making

All ages

 

Resources

"Listening to the Heart"

Music Therapy’s Role in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

Written by Butterfly Beats' founder, Brie Mattioli, MT-BC. Published by The National Association of Perinatal Social Work 2019.

The Power of Music Therapy

Olivia's Journey

Story of Butterfly Beats' founder Brie Mattioli's, MT-BC, NICU patient, "Olivia," and her music therapy journey. Featured on The Children's Hospital of Orange County's blog.

The Power of Music Therapy

CHOC Children's Blog: Darlyn's Story

Story of Butterfly Beats' founder Brie Mattioli's, MT-BC, NICU patient, "Darlyn," and her music therapy journey. Featured on The Children's Hospital of Orange County's blog.