Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between Neurologic Music Therapy (NMT) and Music Therapy?

NMT is an evidence based music therapy approach with foundations in neuroscience. Traditional music therapy uses a psychosocial approach to therapy. NMT’s are trained music therapists who have completed extra training in NMT. From a neural perspective, engaging in musical tasks share neurons with non-musical tasks and therefore specific techniques can be used to enhance or improve non-musical functions.

What is the difference between music therapy and music teaching?

The difference is largely in the goals. Music therapy goals are non-musical whereas music teaching goals are obviously musical. MT uses music as a tool to achieve non-musical goals. In some instances there may be improvements in musical abilities however this is not the focus. Music therapists focus on functional non-musical skills.

What training is required to become a music therapist?

In Australia music therapists complete a 2 year Masters of Music Therapy degree which includes 640hours of clinical training in four different areas. In order to be accepted into the degree, individuals must demonstrate skills in piano, guitar and vocals as well as complete psychology subject prerequisites. Upon completion of the course requirements, students must pass a registration examination in order to become a Registered Music Therapist through the Australian Music Therapy Association (AMTA).

What do you do in sessions?

It depends on the individual. All programs are created to address specific needs. Neurologic Music Therapy utilises a research based system of standardised clinical techniques. After an assessment has been carried out and necessary information obtained from family members and other relevant parties (school, allied health professionals etc) the music therapist determines the techniques to meet the desired goals. Goals generally fall into the following areas – speech/communication, sensory/motor, social/emotional and cognition.

Why music?

There is a large body of music and neuroscience evidence which outlines the effect of music on the brain and it’s ability to optimise, re-route and repair neural connections to improve individuals’ communication, motor skills and cognition. See the resources page for more information.