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Music therapy is a research-based practice and profession in which music is used to actively support people as they strive to improve their health, functioning and wellbeing. It is a client-centred allied health profession that uses evidence-based music interventions to address the individual goals of the client.


Music therapy is the intentional use of music by a university trained professional who is registered with the Australian Music Therapy Association Inc. Registered music therapists draw on an extensive body of research and are bound by a code of ethics that informs their practice.


Music therapy is different from music education and entertainment as it focuses on health, functioning and wellbeing (Australian Music Therapy Association, 2012).

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A Registered Music Therapist (RMT) is an individual who has completed an accredited Master's course in music therapy and who then maintains their skills through continuing professional development as approved by AMTA. 

Music therapists incorporate a range of music making methods within and through a therapeutic relationship. They are employed in a variety of sectors including health, community, aged care, disability, early childhood, and private practice.  Music therapy is different from music education and entertainment as it focuses on health, functioning and wellbeing. (Australian Music Therapy Association, 2012)


Music is a multi-sensory, motivating and interactive means of engagement that most children respond positively to. It serves as a medium through which developmental goals can be addressed. Goal-based interventions through music and musical elements are implemented in session to address social, communication, cognitive, motor, sensory and emotional goals. Some examples of goals and objectives can be found below:

  • Develop play skills such as turn-taking, waiting, sharing, following and imitation

  • Develop reciprocal interaction skills 

  • Social story songs to engage and assist in comprehension and development of social skills

  • Play-based learning and improvised music to develop social engagement skills

Music Performers
  • Increasing intentional vocalisations and verbalisations 

  • Improving target speech phoneme articulation 

  • Developing receptive and expressive language 

  • Incorporating and improving non-verbal communication skills like gestures, sign language and Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC)

  • Phonics songs to build early literacy and school-readiness

Playing Music for Baby
  • Rhythmic predictability to prime, organise and co-ordinate oromotor, gross and fine motor skills

  • Functional play of musical instruments to develop praxis and functional play skills

  • Music and movement to improve gross motor skills like motor planning, bilateral integration and mid-line crossing

  • Learning a musical instrument for motor skill development

  • Incorporating rhythm and movement for sensory regulation and sensory processing

Capoeira Music Instruments
  • Sensory play of instruments to address sensory processing difficulties 

  • Improving attention, working memory, sequencing and inhibition control skills

  • Songs and musical activities to support learning of early learning concepts like shapes, numbers, letters and categories

  • Developing task resilience and task completion skills

  • Increasing tolerance for repetition and practice of tasks

Music Class
Sensory & Emotional
  • Songs to assist in relaxation and management of anxiety

  • Social story songs to help with emotional intelligence, sequential problem solving and learning proactive strategies for self-regulation

  • Incorporating modulated music listening to optimise arousal and self-regulation for increased participation and independence in daily activities

  • Music-based strategies for developing awareness of regulatory needs

  • Rhythm and movement to address sensory regulation

Little Music Fan
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