Music Therapy

What is Music Therapy?
Music therapy is an established health profession that uses music and its effects on brain function to assist with nonmusical goals. Music therapy is not simply listening to or playing music. Using the appropriate music has been shown to decrease pain, improve breathing, and provide an outlet for expression.

What is The Purpose?
Specific music and treatment techniques are used to:

  • assist with pain management
  • provide a non-threatening way for patients and their families to discuss difficult topics
  • improve/maintain range of motion
  • provide sensory stimulation/reality orientation
  • improve breath support and/or respiratory function
  • provide an outlet for self-expression
  • decrease anxiety and depression
  • assist with activities of daily living and compensatory training

Who Provides Music Therapy?
A board certified music therapist (MT-BC) graduated from an approved music therapy degree program and passed a national certification exam. Board certified music therapists are required to maintain at least 100 continuing education credits every 5 years or retake the exam to ensure quality services are being provided to the public. Professionals who have proper training and credentials are the only ones qualified to provide music therapy services.

What Can I Expect During a Session?
Initially, the therapist will use the information provided by the staff to assess the patient’s and/or family’s needs. The music therapist may ask you questions to gain further knowledge, such as past musical experiences or favorite songs, or how you are feeling at that moment. All information is important and will be used to decide what music and/or
intervention best meets your need. During the session, a music therapist may use music to assist with physical and emotional needs, pain management and life review. It can be a time to reflect on the past with a loved-one, share a familiar song together, or just relax and listen to assist with pain management. The music therapist may also involve the patient and/or family in a song-writing experience, where emotional needs can be discussed in a non-threatening manner.

How Can I Receive More Information?
You can find out more about music therapy from the American Music Therapy Association at or Music Therapy Services of Central WI, LLC at


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