Music Therapy Care for Older Adults

Older adults, especially those who have specific healthcare needs, can benefit from receiving music therapy services.

After assessing an individual’s needs and capabilities, the music therapist designs custom interventions to help each client maintain health and quality of life. [Read more…]

Music for Our Brains and Hearts

Speech and Music Therapist, Kathleen M. Howland, talks about how music can affect us from before birth throughout our lives. Music can be a tool for diagnosing learning disabilities at very young ages.

Music has always been used to facilitate group efforts, such as working in a way where synchronized movements allow people to accomplish greater feats than if not-synchronized.

Music affects the brain in different ways, and can be used both as an assessment tool and as a therapeutic application to support and even repair neuron-networks.

Neurologists now work with music therapists to investigate the potentials for helping people with a variety of needs make progress. Music is about more than comfort or distraction. It’s about motivation, organization, coordination, relaxation, and stimulation.

Want more information about Music Therapy?

Contact Us or visit the American Music Therapy Association website.

Healing Through Music Therapy

Jodi Winnwalker has witnessed incredible transformations during her years as a Board-Certified Music Therapist. In this TEDx talk, she shares  pictures and videos that illustrate the power of music and the healing transformations that can take place when this beloved art form is used in a therapeutic setting. [Read more…]

Music + Therapy

Most people understand what it means to be a therapist. Terms, such as speech therapist, physical therapist, and talk therapist are common in our daily lives. Similarly, most people understand what it means to be a musician or play music. Why is it then, that when people here the term “Music Therapist” they seems to have no idea what it means?

  • Is that therapy for musicians?
  • Is that like when you play music for people to relax?

In this TEDx talk, music therapist Erin Seibert, MT-BC shares her mission: To have “Music Therapist” become a household term.

Need more information about Music Therapy?

Visit the American Music Therapy Association website.

Contact Golden State Music Therapy for a free consultation.

What is Music Therapy?

Music Therapy is the skilled and purposeful application of music-based experiences, within a therapist-client relationship, to help people realize their therapeutic goals and objectives. In short, music therapy is a healthcare profession where the therapist uses musical experiences to help people.

Golden State Music Therapy helps people in the Los Angeles area by providing services by Board-Certified music therapists. Clients include:

  • Children and adults receiving Palliative Care.
  • Adults with developmental disabilities.
  • Adults in Hospice care.
  • Adults in rehabilitation programs.

Contact us to find out more.

We Are Music Therapists

Music Therapy ServicesIt’s our pleasure to forward this message from our colleague, Judy Simpson, who is working with other MT-BCs  to further define music therapy as a unique profession and identify the unique qualities that set it apart from other allied healthcare fields. Enjoy!

Judy Simpson, MT-BC
Director of Government Relations, American Music Therapy Association

When I started my career as a music therapist in 1983, it was not uncommon for me to describe my profession by comparing it to other professions which were more well-known. If people gave me a puzzled look after I proudly stated, “I use music to change behaviors,” I would add, “Music therapy is like physical therapy and occupational therapy, but we use music as the tool to help our patients.” Over the years as I gained more knowledge and experience, I obviously made changes and improvements to my response when asked, “What is music therapy?” My enhanced explanations took into consideration not only the audience but also growth of the profession and progress made in a variety of research and clinical practice areas.

The best revisions to my description of music therapy, however, have grown out of government relations and advocacy work. The need to clearly define the profession for state legislators and state agency officials as part of the AMTA and CBMT State Recognition Operational Plan has forced a serious review of the language we use to describe music therapy. The process of seeking legislative and regulatory recognition of the profession and national credential provides an exceptional opportunity to finally be specific about who we are and what we do as music therapists.

For far too long we have tried to fit music therapy into a pre-existing description of professions that address similar treatment needs. What we need to do is provide a clear, distinct, and very specific narrative of music therapy so that all stakeholders and decision-makers “get it.” Included below are a few initial examples that support our efforts in defining music therapy separate from our peers that work in other healthcare and education professions.

  • Music therapist’s qualifications are unique due to the requirements to be a professionally trained musician in addition to training and clinical experience in practical applications of biology, anatomy, psychology, and the social and behavioral sciences.
  • Music therapists actively create, apply, and manipulate various music elements through live, improvised, adapted, individualized, or recorded music to address physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs of individuals of all ages.
  • Music therapists structure the use of both instrumental and vocal music strategies to facilitate change and to assist clients achieve functional outcomes related to health and education needs.
  • In contrast, when OTs, Audiologists, and SLPs report using music as a part of treatment, it involves specific, isolated techniques within a pre-determined protocol, using one pre-arranged aspect of music to address specific and limited issues. This differs from music therapists’ qualifications to provide interventions that utilize all music elements in real-time to address issues across multiple developmental domains concurrently.

As we “celebrate” 2014’s Social Media Advocacy Month, I invite you to join us in the acknowledgement of music therapy as a unique profession. Focused on the ultimate goal of improved state recognition with increased awareness of benefits and increased access to services, we have an exciting adventure ahead of us. Please join us on this advocacy journey as we proudly declare, “We are Music Therapists!”

About the Author: Judy Simpson is the Director of Government Relations for the American Music Therapy Association. She can be reached at

About Music Therapy

Music therapy is an established health care profession that uses musical experience of all types within a therapeutic relationship to address physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs of individuals and groups. [Read more…]