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  • Writer's pictureAmy B

Establishing Relevant Goals in Music Therapy

Establishing Relevant Goals in Music Therapy

The American Music Therapy Association defines music therapy as “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”.

What happens during a music therapy assessment?

During a music therapy assessment session, the music therapist will observe the client in different domains and determine goals in order to maximize the client’s potential. These areas are social/emotional skills, perceptual/motor skills, language/communication skills, cognitive/academic skills, and musical skills.

Great! Is that all?

The music therapist will then determine goals within a developmental framework that will allow the client to engage and be successful while still striving for improvement in the observed area. Within the assessment report, parents or caregivers will find the established goals that are measurable and indicate improvements.

Why are goals important?

Goals will allow for progress in therapy. Without direction and focus, in addition to a tool of measurement, there would be nothing to work towards and no improvement noted. When creating a goal, it is important to consider all prerequisites of behaviors in order for the client to be successful. For example, if the goal is for a client to demonstrate initiation of a beat during an activity, prerequisites would ask that the client is able to demonstrate focus and shifting of attention.

These are things that a board certified music therapist (MT-BC) will keep in mind when establishing goals and also why it is so important to find a board certified professional who has been through the education and training to understand how to create relevant goals.

Okay! And then…

Once measurable goals are set, the work can begin!

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