Music therapy goals
Goals and objectives provide direction, purpose and focus to music therapy, as they state what the client is to accomplish if the interventions are successful.
A music therapy goal is a broad statement of the desired long-term outcome of treatment. Behavioural objectives describe smaller more specific steps in attaining the goals.
Within music therapy there can be physical, cognitive (academic/behavioural), psychological/emotional, and social goals. The goals are designed after initial consultation with the client. Music therapy is about achieving non-musical goals using music.
The goals set in music therapy are person centred and focused on the individual to meet their specific needs. As such the goals will vary depending on the client, their age, their disabilities and what they want to achieve through music therapy sessions.
For example: a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder may have some of the following goals:
- Improve sensory functioning (auditory, visual, tactile, kinesthetic)
- Improve physical speech skills
- Improve communication (receptive and expressive language skills)
- Improve ability to follow directions
- To promote effective use of non-verbal communication
- Decrease inappropriate behaviours
- Provide a sense of accomplishment
- Increase involvement and participation
- Improve ability to participate in appropriate play activities
- Improve group behaviours (sharing, turn-taking, working in a group)
Music Therapy Sessions
Music therapy sessions are offered after school hours or on the weekends. Sessions can be individual or within a group setting. Sessions vary in length from 30 minutes to 1 hour. An initial assessment is recommended and lasts approximately 45 minutes.
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Music therapy has the ability to improve the lives of people.
Discover music as therapy
Music therapy is a professional discipline that utilises planned and controlled music to achieve therapeutic goals and aims. Music therapy is the functional use of musical interaction to enhance and develop socialisation, communication, selfexpression, and sensory-motor skills.
Sarah Fisher Dobbin
Sarah has been working in music education with students with a range of needs. This includes working in schools that cater for students with behaviour issues and emotional issues, schools for students with moderate to severe intellectual and physical disabilities and in mainstream settings.
Music therapy goals
There are a range of music therapy techniques and interventions that are used during music therapy sessions. There are planned components but there are also activities that can be used in the moment dependent upon reaction, feelings and willingness of the participant(s).
Music Therapy has been wonderful for April. She is singing with more confidence and with more articulation, making her speech clearer and easier to understand. She is enjoying all aspects of her sessions, becoming increasingly less anxious. She particularly enjoys using the microphone.
Lyn – Mother