Music therapy is an effective educational and therapeutic tool for both children and adults with forms of disabilities. The strategies involved with music therapy may effect changes in skill areas that are important for people with a variety of forms of disabilities such as learning disabilities, intellectual disabilities, cerebral palsy, autism and many others. As a person with disabilities, I have found music to be invaluable in relation to the forms of disabilities I experience.
Music Therapy is defined as a 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. Music therapy aims to facilitate positive changes in behavior and emotional well-being and is essentially a social activity involving communication, listening and sharing. Referrals to music therapy services may be made by other health care professionals such as physicians, psychologists, physical therapists, and occupational therapists.
From a therapeutic perspective, music has a number of benefits for people with disabilities. It is an important learning tool of course. A portion of the benefits of music comes from the fact that repetition within music may be more enjoyable than without it. Music also provides significant memorization assistance. Maybe the most important thing for some people is the fact that they can participate in music even if they experience difficulties in other areas and music therapists are trained to help them accomplish this goal. Successful participation in music can find a person with a disability feeling motivated to pursue additional efforts.