Music Therapy

Music therapy is an evidence-based expressive therapy method that can be used to help with a wide range of conditions, such as Autism, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD/ADD), depression, and even cardiac conditions. One doesn’t need a music background to participate and benefit from music therapy. 

Music therapy sessions can involve listening, singing, playing instruments, and composing music. It can be used to accomplish a variety of health and educational goals, such as: 

  • Expressing feelings
  • Enhancing memory
  • Improving communication
  • Developing fine motor skills
  • Developing hand-eye coordination
  • Manage stress
  • Promote overall wellness

Music therapy is used to help with specific conditions, such as: 

  • Behavior disorders
  • Mood and anxiety disorders
  • ADHD
  • Autism spectrum disorders (ASD)
  • Trauma

How Music Therapy Works

Before starting music therapy, the therapist will want to learn all about the patient's needs and strengths, as well as their background in music. With children, it usually involves a consultation with the child’s parents and other doctors and care teams. 

The music therapist is going to want to know about a child’s:

  • Diagnosis
  • Executive functioning skills
  • Social functioning skills
  • Communication abilities
  • Cognitive skills
  • Physical health
  • Overall emotional well-being
  • Trauma history and triggers

This information will help the therapist develop a treatment plan that considers the child’s unique needs and goals. In addition, the therapist will want to know about any previous musical background, skills, preferences, and interests. This will help the therapist create engaging sessions for the child to help them reach their goals. 

During music therapy, the therapist and the child will do one or more of the following activities: 

  • Create music
  • Listen to music
  • Move to music
  • Sing songs
  • Discuss lyrics
  • Play an instrument

Benefits of Music Therapy

There are many benefits of music therapy. It can help support social, cognitive, emotional, and physical development. 


  • Improve communication skills 
  • Help people connect with others


  • Coping skills
  • Increased sense of control


  • Assist with self-expression
  • Stress management
  • Reduce anxiety
  • Decrease depression 
  • Improve mood
  • Release emotions
  • Allow for expression of emotions


  • Assist with the development of fine motor skills
  • Assist with the development of gross motor skills
  • Improve sleep
  • Improve gait and speech skills 

Music Therapy and Neurodiversity

Music therapy is a proven treatment for a range of neurodiversity conditions. Music therapy is a versatile therapy method that can be used to treat various conditions and can be adapted to accommodate many different abilities and needs. 

One of the best things about music therapy is that it can meet your child where they are at. It can then be used to help your child reach their fullest potential. 

Music therapy can be used to improve skills in a variety of areas, such as: 

  • Social skills
  • Sensory processing
  • Behavioral skills
  • Cognition
  • Perception skills
  • Motor skills 
  • Self-reliance
  • Self-determination
  • Self-expression

Music therapy, when used to treat neurodiversity, such as ASD, involves using specific ASD strategies such as prompting, picture schedules, and reinforcement alongside traditional music therapy techniques. 

Music therapy can provide one with familiarity, consistency, and structure, which is very important for the learning styles of people with conditions such as ASD. It can be a great hands-on way to learn specific skills. 

Learn How Music Therapy Can Assist Your Child

Music therapy is a proven method that can be an important part of a treatment plan for ASD, ADHD, executive dysfunction, social-emotional delays, and other neurodiverse conditions. 

Music therapy is a covered expressive therapy for individuals who qualify for Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS), a Medicaid program. 

If you think music therapy could help your child manage their diagnosis better, please contact Award Behavioral Health for a consultation.

For appointments, call us at (800) 249-9569 or contact us online.

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