We Are… Goal Oriented


Those are two key words in the realm of music therapy!  GOALS is even an essential word in the AMTA definition of music therapy:

“Music Therapy is the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music therapy program.”

After an assessment, music therapists create individualized goals for each client.  One of the biggest misconceptions I deal with is the thinking that these goals are music oriented, like learning to play an instrument, when in fact nearly all of the goals are non-musical.   Major goal areas include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • emotional well-being
  • physical health
  • social functioning
  • communication abilities
  • cognitive skills 
  • motor skills

These goals can then be addressed through music-based interventions such as:

  • music improvisation
  • instrument playing
  • receptive music listening
  • song writing
  • lyric discussion
  • music and imagery
  • music performance
  • learning through music

MTs continually re-evaluate their clients’ needs, assess their progress, and modify goals as needed.  MT interventions and interactions are all directly based on the clients needs/goals.

We Are... Goal Oriented

This article from the Children’s Hospital of Pennsylvania states some of the specific goals of Music Therapy and Art Therapy in a pediatric hospital setting

Coast Music Therapy has several resources pertaining to MT goals when working with Children in Special Education

This article by Dorita S. Berger in a 2009 edition of “Voices” gives advice On Developing Music Therapy Goals and Objectives


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