6 Replies to “Video – Music Therapy for Dementia, Aphasia and Strokes”

  1. I’d just like to respectfully point out that this is an example of the use of music therapeutically, but it is not music therapy. From what I can discern about Greg Woods, he is not a credentialed music therapist. In fact, he calls himself a “musical therapist” in the video. Music therapists are careful to point out these differences to protect the public. See this story for why this can be so important, and even dangerous in this case: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fXW-209uOFQ. Although this story is about a different client population with a different diagnosis, the important point is, anyone looking to hire a music therapist should inquire about the therapist’s training and background. There are professions other than music therapy that use music therapeutically. Anyone looking to find therapeutic music services should know what the therapist is trained to do, if he/she has a certification, what that certification provides, and how the therapist engages in continuing education. Again, this is to protect people from something like what happened in the story I linked here. Might I humbly suggest that the title of this post be changed to “therapeutic music for dementia, aphasia, and strokes?” THANK YOU so much, Lori, for being such a pioneer in promoting improved dementia care. I just thought I’d contribute this information to clarify what music therapy is so others can be well-informed.

    1. HI Ashley
      I very much appreciate you taking the time to respond to this article. I do believe it is important for people to know the credentials of who they are hiring, but I also feel there are a variety of levels of how people define “therapy.” For me, I feel music in general is therapeutic no matter what the venue or forum. No matter if it is live, on the radio, a CD or from a computer or ipod. Therapy of any type can be good or bad. If people where surveyed my guess is most people would say most “therapies” (no matter what type) fall somewhere in the middle. Each like anything has to do with not only technique but the match of personalities and how they interact with one another.

      Again I thank you for writing and for taking the time to share you insights and the video. At this time I will not be changing the title as I would prefer people see the full discussion and to formulate their own opinion on the conversation and… maybe even add to the discussion if they feel the urge to do so.


      1. Hi Lori,

        Thank you so much for taking the time to read my comment and respond. I appreciate it.

        I agree that music can be therapeutic, no matter what the medium, but do want to point out that the specific term music therapy is reserved for music therapists–those who have completed accredited training, approved internships, and passed the examination administered by the Certification Board for Music Therapists (in the US. Other countries have different certifying bodies). There are other professionals who offer therapeutic music, but cannot call themselves music therapists because that term has been reserved for a specific group of people who have the education, training, and certification. Only music therapists can be said to practice music therapy.

        I agree that individual differences play a tremendous role in what different types of therapies are most effective for each person. Aren’t we lucky that we live in a day and age when so many creative arts therapies are available, and research to support their effectiveness grows every day?



  2. Ashley, thank you VERY much for your comments. I was thinking the exact same thing. You responded very respectfully and educationally.

    I don’t know how to confirm is someone is a music therapist outside of the United States, but can definitely confirm that music therapists in the United States immediately correctly people if they are called musical therapists.

    I do know for certain that the protocol for Melodic Intonation Therapy (MIT) is extremely strict and that this video example doesn’t demonstrate the protocol. If the protocol isn’t followed exactly it shouldn’t be called MIT. I also know that while it has occasionally been successful in some other situations, MIT is usually only used with people who have a specific form of stroke related aphasia.

    As Ashley mentioned, the credential “board certified music therapist” (MT-BC) and term “music therapy” can only be used in the United States to describe people who have completed an American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) accredited college or university training, approved internships, passed the examination administered by the Certification Board for Music Therapists (CBMT), and maintained continuing education through CBMT. This is all for consumer protection and safety!

    To find a board certified music therapist go to: http://www.musictherapy.org/about/find/

    or to confirm that a person you are interested in working with is qualified to do so go to:


    Lori, it is fantastic to see multiple entries on music therapy! (not including this one)

    1. HI Melissa
      Thank you for writing. Although I understand your concerns, different countries have different requirements. The general public at large doesn’t understand the technical descriptions of most titles. Many will say an online social support group is not an official support group as it doesn’t meet in person. Most who belong will argue that point. I believe the important thing is to show and give people options – examples of opportunities to improve life. I personally disagree that the term “Music Therapy” should be limited to some thing “certified” although I respectful understand the accreditation. Listening to music in our car can be therapeutic, and so some may use the term music therapy when they refer to music triggering emotions such as calm, sad, joy…

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