Slide 1


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.” Music therapy always involves a board-certified music therapist, who develops interactive, healing relationships with individuals or groups and uses research-based sound and music activities to help clients achieve physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual goals.

In contrast, orchestras and educational organizations commonly use the label “music and wellness” to denote programs where amateur or professional musicians collaborate with the music therapy community to expand the presence of music in healthcare facilities. With guidance from music therapists, musicians consider participants’ goals as they choose pieces, observe and interact with participants during sessions, and adjust what they say or play according to participants’ responses. This emphasis on flexibly tailoring sessions to meet participants’ needs differentiates music and wellness programs from performances.