Music Therapy & Speech Language Pathology

May 14, 2015   //   Blog, Events, Speech

What is Music Therapy?

Music Therapy is the use of music to achieve goals. Some of these goals may be musical, social, emotional, communicative, behavioral or cognitive. What makes it therapy is a few things, One is that a therapeutic relationship is established between patient and child. Another is that all the goals are objectives for the patient are clinical, and they are achieved through the use of specified interventions. Every child will have different goal areas and needs so no two Music Therapy sessions ever look alike.

How does it work with Speech Therapy?

Music Therapy and Speech Therapy are different from each other.  There are many similarities though. Both are facilitated by a trained therapist, both use specialized techniques and skill sets to achieve clinical goals, and both are beneficial for the development of a person.

Music Therapy can promote many speech goals, including but not limited to increased breath and muscle control, stimulated vocalization, developed receptive and expressive language skills and improved articulation skills.

Why would we want to add Music Therapy to our services?

Music Therapy provides a structure to promote speech therapy goals in a fun and effective way. Music varies in tempo (speed), dynamics (volume) and rhythm (intonation). These structured principles of music make it easy for children to match and learn, allowing for fun and learning.

Additional Benefits –

Music Therapy can help people meet their sensory needs; often times when these needs are met other goals are more easily achievable.

Music therapy recognizes and appreciates nonverbal communication, not only is language a factor in learning to achieve speech goals, so are nonverbal cues and responses. These cues we can see in faces and bodies and are interpreted just as equally as the words we say.

Music Therapy is fun and easy… or at least it looks like that. A Music Therapist can address goals in a non-threatening manner, and attempt to try and reach patients in a ‘new’ way that may not have been as effective. Music and Language are in different areas of the brain. Therefore there is a chance that one medium or another may be more effective for a patient previously.

The Social-Communication goals of music therapy make it a great tool for not only individual but group sessions. It is a great facilitator for allowing children of all ages to vocalize and speak together, promoting not only the development of communication, but also the social and emotional development of the child.


Music Therapy Infographic

Center For Communication Skills, Speech & Language Pathologists, Fresno, CA