Music therapy is covered by the NDIS as it is known to be effective in helping people with disability improve their behaviour, mental heath, and overall well being. In the context of the NDIS, music therapy supports fall into the Capacity Building/Improve Daily Living category. With the help of a qualified music therapist, participants can develop their capacity for community engagement.
Music therapists are musicians who have studied music at university. Specifically, they have studied the ways in which music can be employed to treat various behavioural, developmental, and physical disorders. When music is used therapeutically, it can have a profound effect on a person’s mood, functioning, and well being.
Music therapists work with participants to identify personal aims and develop a therapeutic plan to achieve them. Benefits from music therapy include improvements in communication, social skills, mood, expression, speech, energy, and emotional and psychological health. It can even help with mobility.
Depending on the participant’s goals and circumstances, a music therapy session might involve playing instruments, singing songs, dancing to music, composing music, performing and recording music, or simply listening to music.
Music therapy oftentimes includes the use of assistive music technology. For example, there are special products that allow children with disability to play music with their hands, elbows, knees, and head.
Therapy sessions can take place in a variety of settings, including a participant’s home, a school, a hospital, a community centre, or a church. It may be done individually in with a group.
Since one of the goals of music therapy is to promote community participation, attending concerts or music festivals is sometimes included in a person’s program. It may also be recommended that participants join a choir or another type of musical group.