Music Therapy Clinic


The mission of the Western Michigan University music therapy program is to provide quality music therapy services while rendering an opportunity for the acquisition of new skills and abilities.  As a community-based academic training facility, Music Therapy Clinic students and professionals identify non-musical and musical goals that may be successfully targeted in the music setting while always providing a respectful and supportive environment.

The clinic offers music therapy to a variety of clientele including pediatric, adolescent, adult and geriatric clients.  All music therapy services are provided by qualified graduate or undergraduate music therapy students under the supervision of Board-Certified Music Therapists. All sessions are specifically designed to meet each client's assessed needs and individualized treatment plan, and may include the following:

  • Individual or Group Music Therapy
  • Collaboration with schools, agencies, and other health professionals 

Benefits of Music Therapy

Music therapy can be an appropriate treatment modality for all ages and diagnoses. Using a variety of techniques related to the individual's or group's musical preferences and special needs, the music therapist designs a music-based treatment plan to target non-musical (and when appropriate) musical goals.

Examples of possible goal areas and music therapy interventions include the following:

  • Increase academic successes through pairing academic information with musical material.
  • Increase gross and fine motor functioning through rehabilitation exercises performed to and through music.
  • Increase communication through both verbal and non-verbal methods of self expression.
  • Increase socialization by providing instruction or age-appropriate music-based experiences.
  • Improve long term memory to stimulate reminiscence and reality orientation through singing familiar songs. 
  • Improve pain and stress tolerance through the use of guided music listening, imagery, and other relaxation techniques.
  • Decrease stress and agitation by using instrumental and vocal music that may positively influence autonomic functioning.
  • Decrease anxiety and symptoms of depression through guided music listening, lyric analysis , music and imagery.


Do I need to have a musical background in order to come to the Music Therapy Clinic?

No prior musical experience is not required to receive music therapy services. The universal appeal of music in one form or another allows nearly every individual to relate to music and to participate in music-based treatment procedures at some level.

What is the charge for services in the Music Therapy Clinic?

Modest fees are charged for services. While clinical services are not directly billed to insurance companies, documentation can be provided for those wishing to request reimbursement from their individual health care provider.

My child is already involved in music in school. Isn't that the same as Music Therapy?

Children in regular, inclusive or special school settings may already participate in some type of music education program as part of their overall curriculum. While this is an important part of their total education, the primary emphasis of music education is to develop aesthetic awareness and an appreciation for the arts.

Music therapy uses music to address client's non-musical goals (motor, communication, cognitive, social skills, and enhancement of emotional health) while offering the opportunity to learn new musical skills.

Since I am already involved in other therapeutic programs, why should I attend the Music Therapy Clinic?

Music therapy provides a unique avenue for change that may be more beneficial compared to more traditional approaches. Although many of the goals for treatment may be similar, the music therapist draws upon a wide range of musical experiences in order to facilitate each client's growth.