types of Interventions 

There are various music therapy strategies used within a session, each music therapy session is tailored around the client hence the strategies and type of intervention used is determined by the clients health conditions, age, musical preferences and many more. 

There are 4 types of interventions used in music therapy 

1. Receptive 

This is when a client listens to music, either live or a recording and then responds to the experience, this response can be in a variety of ways; silently, verbally or through art or dance. Several types of receptive interventions use imagery and music assisted relaxation. 

The benefits of this type of intervention is;

  • Promoting relaxation 

  • Facilitating memory

  • The development of auditory skills

  • Enhanced mood

  • Reduced anxiety

Receptive interventions are often used with non verbal clients or those who prefer a non-participating and quiet approach. ​

2. Re-creation 

Re-creation is a type of intervention in which the client is instructed to play or sing along to an existing/ pre-composed song. Re-creation can involve playing unfamiliar or well-known songs and playing different instruments on the basis of the clients goals and aims. 

The benefits of this are:

  • It is an engaging and exciting way to achieve client specific goals

  • Promotes social interaction

  • Strengthening gross/ fine motor skills 

  • It promotes and fosters self-expression through playing or singing songs

This intervention can be used for a variety of patients, like children with late development, people with an acquired brain injuries or patients with dementia.  

3. Improvisation

Music is created extemporaneously and without any preparation using different instruments, the clients voice or body percussion. This specific type of intervention requires for the therapist to interpret and infer what the client is playing and their mood,  then respond to it. 

The benefits of this are:

  • Facilitates expression through music 

  • Boosts creativity

  • Teaches clients to think ahead

  • Improved confidence

  • Increase in the ability to make choices

  • Development of the capacity for relationship building with another person through music 

This type of intervention is more suitable towards those uncomfortable with direct expression and non-verbal clients. 

4. Composition and songwriting

Clients create their own music and lyrics along with the therapists help, these can later be performed and/or recorded. 

The benefits of this are:

  • Clients externalize their thoughts and emotions

  • Promoting a different manner of expression

  • Boosts creativity

  • Provides a fun method to explore and work upon the clients goals

This intervention is suitable for most populations and clients, depending on their needs.