Services for Clients
Music therapy is an established health care profession that uses musical experience of all types within a therapeutic relationship to address physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs of individuals or groups of individuals.
Clinical research shows that children, adolescents, adults, and seniors can benefit from music therapy treatment through its use in physical rehabilitation, pain management, creative expression, enriched special education services, emotional support, socialization, and wellness programs.
Music therapy is delivered by a Board-Certified Music Therapist (MT-BC), someone who not only has the skills and training to provide a broad range of music-based interventions, but has learned to assess patients, identify areas of need, recommend goals and objectives, develop treatment plans, and understands the rationale behind the implementation of various types of interventions.
Kalani Das, MT-BC provides individual and group music therapy sessions within the greater Los Angeles area for a variety of populations, including:
- Persons with Special Needs (TBI, DD, ID, etc.)
- Older Adults in Assisted Living and Health Care Facilities
- Adults in Addiction Treatment
- Groups and Organizations with wellness goals (stress management, conflict resolution, etc.)
Kalani is Director of Golden State Music Therapy.
>Â Visit the Golden State Music Therapy website to learn more.
> Find out more about Music Therapy
With so much interest in the use of music as a platform for helping people reach a variety of goals, people who are seeking help for a certain population are likely to run across a variety of terms and services. Some of these appear to be created by individuals or groups of people who self-designate under certain titles. Most of the following are non-regulated with regard to professional requirements.
- Bedside Musician (playing music for clients – as an entertainer)
- Recreational Music Making (helping clients make music for personal enjoyment)
- Supportive music making (playing music for clients)
- Sound Therapy (playing instruments for someone as a form of healing)
- Therapeutic [instrument playing] (playing instruments for personal benefit)
While there may very well be benefits gleaned from receiving services under these (and other) titles, I recommend consulting with a board-certified music therapist before contracting any music-related services. Why? Because music therapists can offer much more than enjoyable or even ‘therapeutic’ experience. Music therapists are trained clinicians who work along side others in the Allied Health Professions (nurses, doctors, caregivers, social workers, and other therapists) and who understand how best to help clients, choosing from a broad range of musical experiences that are tailored specifically for the client. Music therapists form unique relationships with clients, working with them over time to create authentic, measurable, and meaningful change.
Why Music Therapy?
The music therapist’s main goal is to improve the overall functioning and quality of life of the client. This is accomplished by focusing on the observable and measurable goals and objectives as outlined in the treatment plan. This is what defines music therapy and separates it from other activities, such as recreational or therapeutic music making. The methods of the music therapist might take on a similar outward appearance to the casual observer; however. It’s quite common for people unfamiliar with music therapy to assume that it’s the same thing that volunteer musicians might do with a group, such as run a sing-a-long or give music lessons (either group or individual), for example.
While there are some outward similarities, there are crucial differences. The music therapist is focusing on helping the clients develop non-musical skills, such as those important to daily living, communication, socializing, self-care, peer support, independence, and overall functioning. Once caregivers experience a music therapy session, see how the therapist works, and see how the clients respond, they often come to understand the difference between music therapy and recreational or diversional musical activities. This is not to suggest that there is not a need for volunteer musicians to play for (and with) clients. There certainly is – and I recommend creating as many opportunities as possible for clients of all ages to experience music as often as possible.
Many music-based experiences can look like music therapy. What makes it music therapy is that it is delivered by a music therapist within a treatment program, much like the difference between how a recreational therapist would work with clients vs. someone who volunteers to play games with them. Each has value and they might even look similar in many ways, but they are in fact, quite different and not interchangeable.