The American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) defines music therapy as “…the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music therapy program” (ATMA, 2008). Though the writings of Aristotle and Plato are some of the earliest examples that describe how music can make a positive impact on both the behavior and health of an individual, music therapy is a relatively new concept (Degmečić & Požgain et al., 2005). In the Post-World War II era, experienced musicians began performing regularly in hospitals for war veterans that had suffered from physical or emotional trauma. These performances elicited perceptible, but surprising, positive physical and emotional responses. The physicians took notice and eventually began requesting that the hospital formally hire these musicians to aid in the recovery of these wounded soldiers. This practice eventually evolved into what is now known as music therapy (Degmečić & Požgain et al., 2005). By presenting evidence gathered in various research projects, this paper will attempt to introduce the reader to the benefits of music therapy. It will uncover the different aspects, methods and approaches to music therapy and how it positively impacts an individual with special needs and their family. The evidence presented will also dissect how this therapeutic method can be implemented in both a special education and general education classroom to help a child prosper and thrive as an individual. This information will ultimately exemplify how effective music therapy can be in a classroom that contains a child with special needs.
Who are the Music Ther...
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