Music therapy can be used to improve communication and social skills, since it provides children with an outlet and keeps them engaged. A music therapist may play music for patients to sing or dance to, or children may express themselves through playing music themselves. Some may even choose to learn to play a musical instrument themselves, helping them acquire an interest in learning a particular skill. After learning to make music and how to move to music, children gain emotional outlets as well as a sense of fulfillment that they were lacking before the therapy.
Music therapy works because children do not perceive the introduction of music as a threat. Discussion-based therapies are often too intrusive to the child, whereas therapists who engage patients through the introduction of a musical instrument are much more likely to see positive results. For example, children who are otherwise incapable of social interaction might enjoy a game that is set to music versus one that is not. A certified music therapist can help create a plan for the child, keeping his or her specific needs in mind and implementing strategies that will offer the best results for the individual.