Ten things you probably don’t know about music therapy

Music therapy has a massive impact on all sorts of people. And this year, the Australian Music Therapy Association is celebrating its 40th anniversary, so we thought it was time to help shine a light on this under-appreciated profession.

Lani Motiekaitis is one of the Gold Coast’s best known music therapists. This is party due to her music career in bands such as Lani and Lecia and Leopold’s Treat. But it’s a bit of a case of music therapist by day, rock star by night for Lani.

Here she shares with us ten things you may not know about music therapy.

  1. Music Therapy is widely practiced and represented all over the world. The World congress of music therapy is held every three years and will be hosted in 2017 in Tsukubaba, Japan.
  2. In 1976 the World Federation of Music Therapy was created and included music therapists from Australia, Argentine, Brazil, France, Italy, Germany, Poland Puerto Rico, the UK and USA. The aim was to develop a plan for unity and standards in the international arena of music therapy as well as promote global awareness of both the scientific and artistic nature of the profession.
  3. The Australian Music Therapy Association (AMTA) has hosted conferences in Australia each year since the first in Glebe, Sydney 1975.
  4. Music Therapy is a researched-based practice by university trained professionals. Music Therapy degrees are offered in Melbourne and Sydney.
  5. Registered Music Therapists must earn continuing-professional development (CPD) points to retain their membership to AMTA. Each state in Australia has its own branch committees of the AMTA to help provide CPD opportunities for its members.
  6. The first music therapy committee was developed in 1950 through the Red Cross in Victoria. The then named Red Cross Music Therapy Service preformed concerts in hospitals, developed music programs for discussion groups and facilitated music sessions in homes for the intellectually disabled.
  7. Today research continues to grow for the use of music therapy for premature infants, child rehabilitation, children with autism, children, adolescence and adults with intellectual disability; improving mental health such as schizophrenia and depression; medical disorders and neurological disorders such as stroke, dementia, amnesia and aphasia.
  8. Melodic intonation therapy (MIT) is a commonly used method of treating aphasias, particularly those involving speech deficits (as opposed to reading or writing). MIT is a multi-stage treatment that involves committing words and speech rhythm to memory by incorporating them into song.
  9. Music Therapy has been shown to reduce and manage pain reduce stress and increase a sense of well-being for cancer patients.
  10. Music activates and stimulates the brain. Often the best responses to music therapy are achieved by using the patients preferred music.

This month, Blank GC is partnering with a bunch of other local organisations to celebrate 40 years of music therapy in Australia. We‘re throwing a party. Complete with birthday cake. Join us from 1.00pm – 4.00pm on Saturday 28 November at Expressive Ground, Tallebudgera.

music therapy poster

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