What are the Four Methods of Music Therapy?

Music Therapy Can Benefit You and Your Clients

Anyone with a treasured album collection knows that music has the power to heal.

But music therapy goes far beyond a relaxing replay. Music therapy is proven to heal physical and psychological issues. It offers a variety of creative expressions that can be tailored to clients facing different problems.

What are the benefits of music therapy?

While each method offers different advantages, they all share the same general benefits of music therapy. Music therapy methods have several benefits, including:

  • Emotional benefits:

    • Reduces social anxiety
    • Expression of grief and other traumatic feelings
    • Curbs impulsivity
  • Physical benefits:

    • Lowers blood pressure
    • Relaxes muscles
    • Improves fine motor skills
  • Neurological benefits:

    • Aids insomnia issues
    • Reduces headaches
    • Healing for patients with traumatic brain injuries

Four Methods of Music Therapy For Your Clients

Compositional music therapy

What it is: A method where the client composes music with the assistance of a therapist. These compositions can contain both lyrics and instruments.

Who it’s for: Composing music is a great way to get creative. This confidence-boosting method is ideal for clients struggling with self-esteem or processing grief.

Improvisation music therapy

What it is: Spontaneous song creating. The music therapist interprets their client’s mood based on the sounds and lyrics of their compositions.

Who it’s for: This method forces the client to make choices, making it ideal for a client that struggles with confidence or self-expression. Improvisation is therapeutic for those dealing with trauma or other issues that they don’t feel comfortable directly talking about.

Receptive music therapy

What it is: The therapist plays music for their clients to respond to. The client can express their thoughts through words, their own compositions, or dance.

Who it’s for: Listening to music can calm the nerves of clients with anxiety. This method is also beneficial for patients with hearing or memory issues.

Re-creative music therapy

What it is: In this method, the client will recreate the music played by the therapist. The client can sing the lyrics or recreate the instrumentals.

Who it’s for: This method fine tunes motor skills, making it perfect for clients struggling with developmental issues. This includes patients with dementia and children with movement disorders.

Learn these methods and more at Drury University’s Music Therapy degree program

Have a passion for music?

As a music therapist, you and your clients can connect over what you love. A music therapy degree gives you the psychological and musical knowledge that clients need.

Visit Drury University’s website for more information on our music therapy program.