Music Therapy is More Than Just Fun

Since antiquity, humans have noted the power of music to heal and strengthen. Today, we have the field of music therapy: a form of creative therapy involving the use of evidence-based interventions by licensed music therapists to achieve non-music-related wellness goals.

There is no “typical” candidate for music therapy based on diagnosis alone, but those who are motivated by and enjoy music are terrific candidates! Music therapy can help develop communication abilities, motor skills, literacy, rhythm, attention span and memory.

Strengthen and Heal

Assessments for music therapy vary based on client goals and can include measurements of attention, memory, motor function, communication and other domains. Based on these assessments, goals are set on an individual basis with a small handful of targets for each client to be tracked over time. Goals can be tracked during every session but may also be tracked over larger periods of time.

Both playing and listening to music engages many parts of the brain and body, while simultaneously teaching skills in social communication/interaction, production of speech, processing language, expansion of vocabulary, stress relief, self-expression and creativity. Music therapy demonstrates many benefits for clients of all types, and especially those with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), including autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Many others can also benefit from music therapy, including those with social anxiety, Alzheimer’s/dementia, chronic pain, grief/loss issues and palliative or end-of-life issues.

Engaging in activities, such as singing along with books, improvisation with both words and performance, playing music with others, and learning chords and notes on an instrument, are beneficial and able to be made more accessible for individuals of all abilities. Examples of accessible music technology might include the ChordBuddy and color-coded sheet music, which allow people with various motor, visual or literacy difficulties to still play instruments.

Laura Baker Services Association offers music therapy through a variety of techniques in the form of individual and group music therapy, adaptive music lessons and adult choir (for people of all abilities); and is open to clients as well as other individuals in the community. If you or a loved one are seeking music therapy to help with challenges related to developmental, neurological and/or learning disabilities, contact Jenny Solar, our certified music therapist, or read more about our Creative Arts programming.

More Information and Support

If you or a loved one have IDD and are looking for guidance on finding supports or making informed support decisions, schedule an appointment with Family Navigation Services to talk about your needs, concerns, obstacles and future.

Family Navigation Services


Sam Gershman

Sam Gershman

Family Navigation Specialist

Main: 507-645-8866 Direct: 507-581-7078