The reason music therapy can help so many different types of client is because individuals are able to express their feelings without the need for words. Clients are able to have a shared experience with the therapist, and this creates a potential space for transformation and positive change.
Expressing feeling without the need for words
Whether a client is verbal or non-verbal, music therapy provides a safe, private environment where they can express themselves. By offering support and acceptance the therapist can help the client to work towards fulfilling their potential, improving how they feel through emotional release and self-acceptance.
A shared experience
Music making with others is a social activity that involves sharing, listening and communication. Within the therapeutic relationship these skills can be developed and built upon; both at an individual level with the therapist, and in group therapy with other group members. In this way clients can develop a greater awareness of themselves and how they relate to others. This can improve both self-esteem and confidence in the individual’s ability to form relationships with others outside of therapy. It also provides them with positive ways of making their needs known.
A chance for transformation and positive change
Music therapy can play a key role in developmental work, for example with clients with physical and/or learning disabilities and degenerative mental illness such as dementia. Involvement in creative music making can improve attention, memory and concentration as well as building clients’ self-acceptance and awareness.