As musicians and music fans we all know how impactful music can be, and how natural it can feel. But did you know music can also be a powerful therapeutic tool? Or that music therapy can provide ways to help even the “unmusical” to get involved with making music?
Music therapy is a powerful way to help people through music. Trained music therapists can help people, including those who don’t feel “naturally musical”, to connect with their inner musicality.
Music therapists study behavioural sciences, psychology and counselling as well as taking courses in music. All are proficient in guitar, piano and voice.
Music therapy can be valuable both for those who have health-related needs and also those who consider themselves healthy.
This is a summary post.
→ Read the full interview
Meet Kat Fulton
Kat Fulton is a leading figure in music therapy through her website, Music Therapy Ed.
Her motto is “Be Well, Feel Good, and Make Music”.
Kat has helped to train over 3,000 music therapists and she has also run music therapy workshops for high-profile companies and individuals.
Where Music Therapy is used
Music therapists work in four different settings: medical, psychiatric, educational, and wellness.
An example of how music therapy can help would be by providing elderly-care workers with a way to connect to a patient who is otherwise nonverbal and withdrawn.
Music therapists know how to use music to connect with people on a deep level.
Interested in doing this yourself? Kat says the best way to explore a possible career in music therapy is to contact a local music therapist and observe them at work in various settings.
Music Therapy: is it for everyone?
Kat says that music therapy is also valuable for people who consider themselves “healthy”.
This could include healthcare staff, educational administrative staff, or even corporate clients. For example in the corporate wellness setting, music therapists are often hired to provide team-building experiences.
Music therapy is accessible to everyone. Musical experience is not necessary to achieve goals and see results from music therapy.
For example Kat points out that humans are biologically wired for rhythm, from our walking pace to our heartbeat and breathing.
So she often starts out with rhythm-focused exercises for this reason, to help people get involved with music making in an instinctive natural way. It also helps that there are no wrong notes on the drums!
Music Therapy Dangers
Kat warns that music can also have a negative effect. It’s important to consult a qualified music therapist and not just assume that adding music will help someone in need.
For example, seemingly-soothing classical music can have the opposite effect on someone whose musical tastes are for a very different genre.
Is Music Therapy For You?
Music therapy is an exciting way to make use of music and music-making to effect positive change in people’s lives.
Music therapists are extensively trained and can provide valuable services in a variety of situations.
Whether you decide to try music therapy through a workshop, or you’re inspired to explore training as a music therapist yourself, Kat’s guidance is insightful and helpful. In any case, as a musician it’s important to be aware of the impact music can have and the many ways music therapists use music for good. Learn more in our full interview with Kat Fulton.
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