Music Therapy seeks to use the musical elements of melody, rhythm, pitch and harmony to achieve therapeutic aims. These therapeutic aims are the goal of sessions, rather than the teaching of any musical skills. Sessions are conducted by qualified therapists who, through the use of shared improvisation and other forms of active music-making, seek to engage, interact and form a therapeutic relationship with their client(s). In so doing, clients are enabled to communicate in their own musical language, whatever their level of ability. Sessions can be with individuals or groups, depending on the specific needs of the clients.
Some specific therapeutic aims that may be worked towards in therapy sessions may include:
- The development of eye contact
- The promotion of social skills such as turn-taking
- The increase of attention span
- The development of pre-verbal vocal sounds in non-verbal children
- The opportunity for children to express themselves in a safe environment