Music therapy draws on the power of music in a therapeutic relationship to manage a range of conditions and improve your quality of life.
A music therapist tailors sessions to meet your needs. You may sing or play instruments, listen to music or discuss the meaning of lyrics. You don’t need musical skills, and people of all ages can benefit.
Music therapy is an evidence-based allied health profession that supports people to improve their health and well-being. Music therapy is the use of music and/or elements of music (like sound, rhythm and harmony) to accomplish goals, like reducing stress or improving quality of life. A music therapist talks to you to learn more about your needs, music preferences and experiences, and designs each session specifically for you. They also evaluate your progress each step of the way, and may work with your other healthcare providers to coordinate your care. The number of sessions you have, the length of each session and what you do depends on your individual needs and goals. Music therapy experiences may include singing, playing instruments or writing music. Some sessions may involve listening to music and talking about its meaning.
Music therapy is an evidence-based approach that supports young individuals and adults to improve their mental health and well-being.
Music therapy can help in many ways Mentally
- Reducing anxiety & stress
- Regulating & validating moods
- Regulating energy levels
- Increasing motivation
- Managing anger, frustration & other difficult emotions
- Creative self-expression & performing individual identity
- Emphasising your values, interests & strengths
- Connecting socially with others
- Building self-esteem & confidence
Conditions can be managed by music therapy
Music therapists use this form of treatment to manage a vast range of conditions. It’s typically a complementary therapy. This means it’s part of a larger treatment plan that may include medications or other interventions. Research shows music therapy can offer benefits to people with: Traumatic injuries. Cancer. Autism spectrum disorder. Mood disorders. Anxiety disorders. Learning disabilities. Developmental disabilities.
Do I need to have musical talent to participate in music therapy?
No, you don’t need musical skills or talents to participate. Music therapy is open to everyone regardless of their skill level or background.
Gabbi is a Registered Music Therapist (RMT) affiliated with the Australian Music Therapy Association (AMTA).
After completing high school, Gabbi’s interest in music composition led her to pursue a Bachelor of Music in Composition and Music Technology (Hon.) at WAAPA. This educational journey significantly influenced her perspective on music, shaping both her approach to creating and performing. Subsequently, she earned a Master of Music Therapy, transforming the way she thinks about music.
Gabbi discovered that music serves as a unique means to connect with and support others—an aspiration she eagerly desires to share with a broad audience. Gabbi’s diverse experiences underscore the positive impact of music therapy across various demographics:
- Mothers and their infants participate in community group music workshops, learning playful ways to establish routines in their daily lives.
- A resident in aged care, dealing with Parkinson’s disease, engages in weekly listening sessions featuring their favourite music to alleviate depression and combat social isolation.
- Individuals in mental health recovery express emotions, find pleasure and foster connections through singing and performing their favourite songs.
- Primary school children with complex trauma explore alternative forms of self-expression and cultivate relationships through music.
In addition to her impactful work, Gabbi operates a private practice, extending her services through mobile music therapy sessions throughout Perth.
Gabbi’s approach is all about supporting the overall health and well-being of the community, through music, in whatever capacity possible. She is a firm believer that everyone can enjoy, and benefit from, being musical.
Participating in musical activities isn’t just for those who have had lessons or have “talent,” it should be something that everyone can access in a way that suit them best.
There are so many ways to be musical and so many ways that this can help us to explore and express our genuine selves and can be a resource to those accessing services at COPE in-clinic or out in the community. This can occur on an individual or group basis depending on the needs and goals of the participant/s.
- Live music with singing, guitar & ukulele
- Using recorded music for relaxation, song-sharing, movement or an opportunity to perform in a safe environment
- Making music together by improvising
- Using or writing lyrics and original songs with the help of music technology e.g. recording, beat-making & production
- Discovering ways that music can be helpful outside sessions together e.g. making individual playlists or learning new musical skills