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Music therapy is the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a qualified professional who has completed an approved music therapy program. In other words, music therapy is the use of music by a trained professional to achieve therapeutic goals. Goal areas may include, but are not limited to, motor skills, social/interpersonal development, cognitive development, self-awareness, and spiritual enhancement. Music therapists are found in nearly every area of the helping professions. Some commonly found practices include developmental work (communication, motor skills, etc.) with individuals with special needs, songwriting and listening in reminiscence/orientation work with the elderly, processing and relaxation work, and rhythmic entrainment for physical rehabilitation in stroke victims. The idea of music as a healing modality dates back to the beginnings of history, and some of the earliest notable mentions in Western history are found in the writings of ancient Greek philosophers. Robert Burton wrote in the 16th century in his classic work, The Anatomy of Melancholy, that music and dance were critical in treating mental illness, especially melancholia. Music Therapy is considered one of the expressive therapies.

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