Music therapy is defined as the skilful use of music and musical elements by an accredited music therapist to promote, maintain, and restore mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual health. Music has nonverbal, creative, structural, and emotional qualities. These are used in the therapeutic relationship to facilitate contact, interaction, self-awareness, learning, self-expression, communication, and personal development.
Music generates therapeutic effects in music therapy applications with any type of conditions or disorder seen by a music therapist, the focus must be the brain and body connection. This clear conclusion is based on the inescapable fact that literally all of the work that music therapists do is ultimately aimed at changing some type of behaviour, which can only occur with changes in the functions of specific biological structures of the human body, all of which are determined either directly or indirectly by the brain. Such change begins with the brain, which is why music therapy is possible since;
Music activates vast areas of neural tissue in the brain, enlisting much more of the brain’s power for use in accomplishing any given task
Music changes neural impulse patterning in the brain, allowing the brain to function differently than it would without music.
Music therapy interventions can be defined according to a basic principle that is applicable to the full range of client populations served: Because the human brain must first interpret any sound as ‘music’ before there can be a ‘musical’ influence, and because every client has a brain that must change its ways of doing things in order for therapy to take place, the human brain must be recognized as the basic domain of treatment and the primary focus for change in all music therapy applications. Music has observable effects on human behaviour through its influences on brain functions; therefore its effects can be used therapeutically.