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Music Therapy Has Positive Impacts, Research Shows

The 2021 End Year Report on the Beyond Trauma: Youth Music Therapy program and the Andie Koplik Residency in Music Therapy provides an array of outside research into the impact of music therapy. It ties this research to the specific experiences of the music therapists and students in The Michael Bolton Charities initiative. Excerpts from the research cited in the report:

“Since the passing of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), all students are entitled to the same educational opportunities in the same educational settings. Music therapy at schools has focused on supporting students with special needs within the context of their Individualized Education Program (IEP). As a result of this act, students who experienced (severe) developmental challenges learn side-by-side their typically developing peers. Including music therapy in the student’s IEP can have enormous benefits: “by creating, singing, moving, and listening to music, a wide range of cognitive, emotional, and physical abilities are brought into focus. Under the direction of a qualified music therapist, the new skills learned in the music therapy setting can be transferred to other areas of the student’s life.” (AMTA, 2006).

“…for younger people specifically, engagement with music is often correlated with reduced feelings of worthlessness and an increase in self-esteem (Landis-Shack et al., 2017). These findings are echoed by others, such as Roley (2017), who finds that seven of the nine articles included in her review on music therapy among adolescents with emotional and behavioral disorders “noted self-esteem, self-worth, or a combination of both, to be positively impacted by the interventions of music therapy” (report, p. 24).

Music therapy can have a larger impact too and “music therapy has been proven to contribute to cognitive, psychosocial and academic development” Sze (2006, p. 117).

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