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Health Professionals
Music Therapists



Music Therapists
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   9.08

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    aristotle, bedside, certification, hospice, imagery, outpatient, communication, assess, clinic, maintain, emotional, elderly, therapy, coordination, thereby, credential
     content words:    After World War, World War II, Michigan State University


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Music Therapists
By Jennifer Kenny
  

1     When you think of health care professionals, you probably think of doctors and nurses. You might even think of dentists or chiropractors. Did you ever think to include music therapists? It may seem a little unusual, but music therapists are included in the category of health professionals.
 
2     The power of music has been acknowledged for a long time. The great philosophers Aristotle and Plato wrote about health and behavior being affected by music. After World War I and World War II, musicians visited hospitals to entertain the veterans. Doctors and nurses noticed positive effects on the patients. They started to request music programs for the veterans.
 
3     Colleges began to offer degree programs to train students. In 1944, Michigan State University offered the first program. Today, numerous colleges and universities offer accredited programs. After completing a college program, students can take a national exam to become a board certified music therapist (MT-BC).
 
4     After graduation and certification with a MT-BC, a music therapist might be employed in a variety of settings. They might work in a medical hospital, a nursing home, or in hospice. They might work in a rehabilitation facility, an outpatient clinic, or a day care treatment center. They might hold a job in a drug and alcohol program, a psychiatric hospital, or a senior center. They might even be seen at a school, a jail, or in private practice.
 
5     Whatever the setting, a music therapist's goal is to use music to address the needs of people of all ages - physical needs, emotional needs, cognitive needs, or social needs. A music therapist uses music to improve the quality of life - for the healthy, for the disabled, and for the sick. Research on music therapy shows it can reduce depression, help recall and memory skills, and decrease agitated behaviors.

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