Music therapy is the planned use of music to assist the healing and personal growth of people with identified emotional, intellectual, physical or social needs.
Music therapists use the special qualities of music in a shared relationship with their clients, to meet personal needs, support learning, and promote healing and change. They work with people of all ages and abilities, with individuals and groups, and in many different settings.
Music therapy is effective in:
- developing communication
- extending language and intellectual development
- supporting people in times of loss, grief, and pain
- reducing stress and tension
- motivating rehabilitation
- extending movement and physical co-ordination
- enhancing cultural and spiritual identity
- giving emotional support through times of change or crisis
- assisting memory, imagination, and processing thought
Music Therapists train for a minimum of two years to achieve a Masters degree (or equivalent) in Music Therapy. New Zealand Registered Music Therapists (NZRMTh) adhere to the Code of Ethics for the Practice of Music Therapy in New Zealand and undergo continuing professional development and clinical supervision in order to maintain their registration. The New Zealand Music Therapy Registration Board in consultation with Music Therapy New Zealand has recently developed Standards of Practice for Registered Music Therapists in New Zealand, which NZRMTh are now required to meet in order to maintain their registration and a valid practicing certificate. This is also a requirement of the Allied Health Professional Associations' Forum (AHPAF), of which Music Therapy New Zealand is a member.