What is music therapy? Music is a part of everyone’s lives and many people use music to relax, energize, and comfort. Music therapy, however, is a specialized health profession and music therapists around the world engage their clients and patients in personalized music experiences to provide specific help with learning and healing. From premature infants to elders with dementia, from children on the autism spectrum to adults struggling with addiction, challenges of every kind can be addressed through the assessment and interventions of a trained music therapist.
This memoir chronicles clinical stories from the author’s 30 years of practice while providing an introduction to music therapy. A gentleman with Alzheimer’s disease retains language and alertness. Inmates in a county jail find value in cooperation and self-control. A child with a developmental disability discovers a safe place to calm himself and communicate. Women with breast cancer create songs to share with loved ones. Survivors of traumatic brain injuries and strokes recover some speech and language. These stories along with bits of personal history provide one perspective on this fascinating and fulfilling profession.