With the Arizona Legislature Signing Off on $1.6 Billion in Budget Cuts, How Can We Justify Music Therapy?

It was the music therapy that pushed me over the edge.

For the past month, I've been getting an endless series of pleas, begging me to lobby the government not to ax this program or that. I've been asked to fight against cuts to education, the closure of state parks, and the reduction of hours at senior centers. After-school programs are being slashed — and yet don't we all believe that children are the future? Libraries are closing on Sunday — but surely people need computer access for their job searches!

Everybody's suffering. Everybody needs help. And everybody is tapped out. What can you feel in the face of such hopelessness except a certain numbed depression?

Personally, I've been hunkered down, trying to spend less money. Sure, I've written the occasional small check to do my part for the really urgent cases, but mostly I just feel helpless and sad for everybody.

Then came the e-mail about music therapy.

The Arizona Legislature has been forced to sign off on a staggering $1.6 billion in cuts, just to get the budget on track before the end of the fiscal year in June. (They're now trying to find places to cut another $425 million from next year's budget, although that could change, thanks to the federal stimulus plan.)

Turns out, as part of this fiscal year's cuts, the reimbursement rate for private therapy providers is being slashed. If you have a developmentally disabled kid, the state will still pick up the cost of therapy — but now it's demanding a 10 percent rate cut from its providers. For music therapy, the state is cutting rates by 55 percent.

Now, I'd never argue that the state shouldn't be in the business of supplying necessary therapies to disabled kids. Speech therapy, physical therapy — that's important stuff.

But did you know that we've been paying for trained professionals to help kids express their feelings through music? And it's not just that we foot the bill for underprivileged families. (That I would understand.) But we're doing it regardless of income. In Arizona, it's considered a way to teach "socialization" — and the state subsidizes it without regard for need.

Naturally, there's an Arizona Music Therapy Association. And naturally, it's been organizing the parents who use its services — the parents of developmentally disabled children — to protest those cuts.

Now, as any reporter or legislator could tell you, there are no better advocates than the parents of disabled children. They've had to fight for their kids from birth; many become proficient at fighting simply because they have to. (I wasn't surprised to learn that some plucky parent managed to get President Barack Obama's ear to talk about music therapy during his visit to Dobson High last week.)

But really.

Without the cuts, we were expected to finish the year $1.6 billion in the hole. Billion! And now, thanks to cuts to its budget, CPS says it no longer has enough money to investigate all the complaints it receives alleging abuse and neglect.

Do you realize what that means? Some kid somewhere is going to get hurt and no one's going to be there to check up and make sure he's okay.

Longtime readers of this paper know I'm no fan of CPS. Unlike former Governor Janet Napolitano, I believe the state should err on the side of keeping kids with their families in all but the most clear-cut cases of abuse and neglect. But the fact that some neighbor, or teacher, is upset enough about the way a child is being treated to call CPS, and no one's even going to stop by to check out the child and put the caregivers on notice? That's shameful.

In light of that, it's pretty hard to get upset because the state is no longer picking up the entire bill for music therapy.

I hate to be the one to break the news, but we're in terrible economic times. Meanwhile, Governor Napolitano didn't just fail to save for this rainy day; she actually raided the "rainy day fund" long before it started pouring.

Now we have to make some unpleasant choices. And any middle-class parents whining about how their kid isn't going to be socialized through music therapy had better not expect a lick of sympathy from me.

I know I'm not alone in this, if only because the nation is having a collective anti-OctoMom meltdown. Not since Ronald Reagan inveighed against welfare queens have we felt so damn tired of being forced to subsidize our brother's various keepers (and bail out his five-bedroom McMansion while we're at it).

I'm looking at my tax return and they've taken out thousands of dollars — to give the Iraqis freedom, to pay for healthcare for poor kids, to finance federal grants so the government can encourage us all to stop being so obese. Apparently, I'm also paying to help finance $490 a month for food stamps for Nadya Suleman and her growing brood. And bankrolling all those idiots who thought the great real estate bubble would never burst. And helping Detroit to continue to make cars that I wouldn't drive if they were giving them away.

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I really appreciate your post and you explain each and every point very well.Thanks for sharing this information.And I’ll love to read your next post too.Regards:NABH

While we're at it
While we're at it

Perhaps we should just abolish all the music therapy training programs at the state colleges. The numerous out of state students can take their money to a state that respects them and will pay them more than a school bus driver.


Is this a joke? Clearly the author didn't do any research at all.

Music therapy has been a well respected profession for over 50 years. It can actually SAVE the state money. For example, it's a lot cheaper to hire a music therapist than a speech therapist. Music therapy can often be done in a group setting, again, much cheaper than one on one therapy.

I invite the author to visit a stroke clinic and see the magic of music. Many who cannot talk can sing, or can respond to music. Music therapy can be the only intervention that works with some autistic children. Institutionalizing a child is clearly going to cost more than a few sessions with a trained professional.

Yes, they are college educated, board certified PROFESSIONALS. These aren't church volunteer strumming the harps. These are underpaid professionals that have years of education.

Do your research.

Dr. Andrea Farbman
Dr. Andrea Farbman

It is ironic that Sarah Fenske points to music therapy as �pushing her over the edge� in the current round of the Arizona legislature�s $1.6 billion dollars in budget cuts because in some documented cases music therapy interventions are precisely the only interventions that save parents and children from �falling over the edge.� Fenske�s total lack of understanding or even curiosity about the fifty year legacy of music therapy as an evidence-based treatment modality on par with speech therapy and physical therapy, or what she calls as �important stuff,� is astounding. She not only insults a profession that has volumes of data from studies, nationally and internationally, that validate the efficacy and effectiveness of music therapy interventions for children who have severe impairments, but she maligns the parents of children with disabilities whom she characterizes as having �to fight for their kids from birth.� Fenske goes further to state that parents of children with disabilities seem to just fight for the sake of fighting, �many become proficient at fighting simply because they have to.� What experience does Fenske have navigating the maze of services needed to insure that a child with a disability has a good chance to survive and thrive?

Though it is easy to make light of something you do not understand; it is irresponsible journalism for Fenske to portray music therapy as a frivolous therapy instead of one of a list of possible research-based interventions that can ameliorate difficult symptoms or behaviors. Fenske trivializes using music therapy for socialization, but with some children on the autism spectrum, music therapy protocols might be the only successful methods that provide an avenue for communicating with a child for whom communication is otherwise impossible.

Peer-reviewed research studies reveal the value of music therapy for children with disabilities or illnesses:

Music therapy interventions are used to develop gross motor skills (mobility, agility,balance, coordination) as well as respiration patterns and muscular relaxation.

Research supports connections between speech and singing, rhythm and motorbehavior, memory for song and memory for academic material, and overallability of preferred music to enhance mood, attention, and behavior tooptimize the student�s ability to learn and interact.

Music therapy interventions provide distraction from the pain, discomfort, and anxiety often associated with medical procedures.

Music therapy is a particularly important intervention for children withautism spectrum disorders to engage and foster their capacity forflexibility, creativity, variability, and tolerance of change, in order tobalance the more structured and behaviorally driven education required inschool settings.

Goal areas typically addressed by music therapists among persons withautism include language/communication, behavioral/psychosocial, cognitive,and musical, to perceptual/motor. Goal attainment was found to be highwithin one year, and parents and caregivers surveyed indicated subjectsgeneralized skills/responses acquired in music therapy to non-musictherapy environments.

And if that�s not enough evidence, perhaps Fenske should note that music therapy as a profession has been recognized by Congress in federal legislation and in regulations such as those relating to the education of children with disabilities, to the mental health needs of adults and to programs for elderly people. Further, numerous states recognize music therapy as a reimbursable services as does the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Facilities and the Commission on Rehabilitation Facilities. The �sister� therapies, such as physical therapy and speech therapy, are appropriate therapies. However, the needs of many disabled children can best be met with a combination of physical therapy or speech therapy and music therapy or by just one of those therapies alone.

Kylie Mote
Kylie Mote


Just felt compelled to point out that the state has not been paying for therapies for disabled children for years simply to be a generous "parent". It has been paying largely because it is widely known that providing services and intervention early, at an age when it can make the most critical difference, SAVES the state money down the road when these children grow to be students in overburdened schools and/or adults who may not be able to live independently. It would be nice if all families could afford the hundreds of dollars per week of recommended therapies for their children, but most cannot. And from a strictly financial perspective (which seems to be the prevailing perspective of many conservatives), not paying for services is going to eventually cost us more. And as I too worry about the financial future of Arizona, I have to wonder how all of these cuts impacting the developmentally disabled population are going to end up biting us in the financial ass.

Eric Bakken
Eric Bakken

Ugh. Why was I not surprised to click the 'show comments' button and up popped a music therapist's defense of her field. I read this article as a non-arizonan, non-music therapist, and read it as a article that said, "OK, the economy and state budget is in the S**thole and we need to start behaving like it" A good writer finds something to grab readers, then continues on once she has your attention and explores the issues. It's more than music therapy folks.

Did you even read the part about CPS not having budget to check out child abuse claims? Come on Get real. Fenske's got a biting tone, but at this point, it's the voice of the parent of the adult child whose been bailed out by Dad 3 times and Dad is through with it.

You know, when I needed therapy, I went and paid for it myself. When my family needs health care, I purchase heath insurance (I'm self employed) and I pay for it myself.

It's great that the state has been able to pay for different therapies for the disabled, for so many years. Let's not prove the case for the conservatives that America has become a culture of entitled who depend on government subsidies to live their lives.

Emil Pulsifer
Emil Pulsifer

Another point: Ms. Fenske admits in her article that these "pork" items are small potatoes. What she doesn't acknowledge -- because she is out to smear Democrats -- is that they appear in every modern budget, sponsored by politicians of both parties. I challenge her to provide a single example of an Arizona budget in recent history that doesn't contain this sort of fiddling nonsense, sponsored by Republicans as well as Democrats.

Emil Pulsifer
Emil Pulsifer

Who gives a rat's ass about "music therapy"? Don't you schmucks understand that this article isn't about music therapy, but rather, is a crude bit of Republican propaganda using Ms. Fenske as its (witting or unwitting) whore?

As for Fenske, if you want to keep any of the respect you've painstakingly built as a talented writer and independent journalist, you'd damn well better stop uncritically passing along every absurd media package from the Arizona Republican Party that crosses your transom.

"Meanwhile, Governor Napolitano didn't just fail to save for this rainy day, she actually raided the 'rainy day fund' long before it started pouring."

OK, Fenske, the gloves are coming off. Why the hell do you blame the Democratic governor for this when the Republican majority is what controlled the Arizona Legislature? Do you understand that the legislature passes the budget bills, and that the Governor only has veto power, assuming that this is sufficient to overcome the Republican majority?

"A proposal to use the bulk of Arizona�s emergency economic relief funds to build new roadways passed through the Senate Appropriations Committee on Tuesday despite objections raised by lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. . .

"The 11-member committee voted along party lines, with its seven Republicans in favor and three Democrats in attendance opposed. Sen. Albert Hale, D-Window Rock, was absent.

"Committee Chairman Sen. Robert �Bob� Burns, R-Peoria, who sponsored the bill, said he considers the growing congestion on Arizona roads an economic emergency and thus an appropriate reason to use Rainy Day Fund money. Several Republican members spoke out in agreement.

"But committee Democrats, such as Paula Aboud, D-Tucson, questioned why $450 million of the $650 million fund should go to roads when the need to improve education, health care and social services is equally great."


"Those figures come from the non-partisan Joint Legislative Budget Committee..."

Excuse me, but how "non-partisan" can it be when the Chairman is and has been a Republican, and when it is stuffed full of Republicans and Democrats whose fiscal records are, in the main, largely indistinguishable from Republicans?


lujlp, you requested some hard research, so I've got a reading list just for you. Head over to the Center for Biomedical Research in Music at Colorado State University


There you'll find a VERY extensive list of research and evidence showing rhythm and music affecting positive neurological change in the brain in cognition, speech and language, and sensorimotor capability. But based on your previous comments here, lujlp, I'm skeptical you're even interested in reading the proof you demanded, so I'll make it easy for you.

The short version goes like this: rhythm in music organizes new neuro-pathways in the brain. This has been PROVEN ("Rhythm, Music and the Brain" by Dr. Michael Thaut summarises this well). In a brain containing a sensory-motor or neurologic condition (Autism, Cerebral Paulsy, etc.) these new neuropathways lead to building functionality the client has never had before including abilities like walking, speaking, typing, sitting still or whatever other therapeutic goal they have.

Let's use your kazoo example since you're so fond of ripping on it. When a music therapist has a child who has speech problems due to a neurologic condition play a kazoo, several things are happening: the rhythm they are playing to forms new neuropathways in the brain allowing the information being requested of them (i.e. words) to be processed effectively in their brain. The physical act of blowing on the kazoo gives sensorimotor cues to the child's proprioceptive system effectively 'warming up' or activating the muscles needed to produce speech. When the therapist observes a certain progress in their kazoo playing, the kazoo is removed and work on saying actual words begins and THAT is where the end goal is achieved: functional, 'normal' speech. Over time, enough pathways will have been formed in the brain and enough muscle memory will have been formed in the mouth/jaw/throat that the child will be able to produce speech without the aid of a kazoo or other wind instrument.

The point is, to both lujlp and this article's author, please LEARN about a field you're criticizing before you criticize it. Without any actual knowledge, your words and opinions are as foolish as someone trying to order a cheeseburger with a kazoo.

But music therapy doesn't need this article's author to believe in it for it to be valid. The real issue is the manner in which the state of AZ has cut funding - ALL OTHER THERAPIES received a 10% cut, but music therapy received a 55% cut. This is discriminatory and unfair, and so far there has been no explanation from the Department of Developmental Disabilities as to why it was singled out in this way. Music therapists realize everyone has to make cuts, and will be more than happy to accept a 10% cut like everyone else in order to keep the state running and their profession intact.

Sarah F
Sarah F

um, have you read any of sarah's stuff? This is a woman who has no soul, nor moral compass. She lives only for the story. Be damned who she hurts in the process. a real live basilisk. Its no wonder all she does is hurt people. This is a woman who gets her jollies from human pain and suffering.


I could not believe this article. I posted this on azcentral, but after reading this ignorant article, I believe it also fits here. I work at a center with many music therapists. I am a BCBA (board certified behavior analyst) with a masters degree and have worked with children with autism for over ten years. I am a behavior specialist and have seen these kids day in and day out for so many years. And I have seen hundreds of music therapy sessions and it is always incredible to me to see a music therapist bring out the best in these kids. I almost ALWAYS recomend a child for music therapy when they begin getting therapy services (I provide ABA services). I have seen so many kids talk for the very first time in a music therapy session and continue to talk and connect with the world. And not talking with a musical instrument- with their voice!

Music therapy is very specialized- the training that a music therapist has to go through IS rigorous. It is not like listening to a CD in the slightest. Every song (if singing is even necessary, there are so many other tools they have in their sessions) is individualized to their client and things have to be changed on the fly..the therapist must play the instrument (and well!), while attending to the child's behavior (which they could be throwing a tantrum), while listening to what the child is saying or watching their movements and sing words to songs sometimes, which are individualized to the child, so it is constantly changing, while recognizing if what they are doing is effective. Plus they have to prompt the child if they are not responding.

A MT must know a heck of a lot about Physical therapy- because often time music is used to help with gait and other physical activities...they have to know about Occupational therapy because often times they are helping the kids with motor planning, visual performance and other general living skills, they have to know about Speech Therapy because most often MT's have been the key to unlocking a child's speech (the first step in teaching a child intraverbal skills- the ability to ask and answer questions is being able to fill in words from a song) and they have to know about Behavioral therapy because special needs kids have all kinds of behaviors that must be addressed.

So often I have seen children blossom under a music therapist which as a therapy team we have then been able to transfer the skills they have learned there to other area's of their life. MT's provide a valuable service...which can't just be learned by listening to a CD. I don't know the specifics of their training but it is intense and they know how to use music as a tool to teach any number of skills. I have a child right now that is learning to sequence events using an auditory stimulus only and this is impacting auditory skills in other area's as well- especially his attention to what people are saying without a visual. I also have a kid that learned his personal information (full name, phone number and address) because an MT used specific beats to help the kid remember. Now he can answer anytime any one asks him. I can't even begin to describe the gains some of these kids have made because they were able to have access to music therapy.

We are living in hard times and cuts need to be made...but the only cut MT's should have to take is a 10% cut just like all the other therapies, including my own. Clearly, from the comments I have read (or this article), none of you have ever sat in on a music therapy session day in and day out nor have you seen the long term effects music therapy has had on these young children. All I can say is I've seen miracles, including children talking for the very first time in their whole life in a music therapy session or finally after being 8 years old, being able to relate his phone number and address when asked. Or a child being motivated to walk for the first time to the beat of a drum. Ask a parent then...what is music therapy worth.

Please educate yourself before you make such uneducated comments. It only shows your own ignorance and I can probably recomend you to a good music therapist that can help you with that.


You are a small person. Not only do you have your facts so out of whack. Not only are you not a good Christian, you are not even a good person. Have you ever been around a group of children diagnosed with a developmental disability? Have you ever sat down with a child who has such severe mental issues that they beat you up consistently? Now I am not a music therapist (I am a behavioral therapist), however, you ignorant minded individual, spend just a few moments with a child with Autism, mental retardation, or brain damage and within a few minutes with a music therapist (and this is a legitimate field... you actually have to get a degree to be one...unlike you who learned how to write fictional stories in elementary school) is communicating, interacting, attending, or any other area of development that those of us (and I don't mean you because you have your own issues and demons to deal with) which are "typical" take for granted. Through music, people interact with one another, it brings people together, it makes people happy, sad, remember, etc. Any you, you of all people think it should be taken away from children. You write you little diddy about what the Governor did, and is doing, what legislature has done, etc... yet you do not care. After reading your little anecdote, I would think that you were born without a heart. What is next? Hey, why don't we not teach children in general. How about we just let the ederly live in the canals (we have plenty of them here in the Valley). That way, you won't have to pay as much in taxes and would have no reason to complain what-so-ever. Why don't we just cut all funding for everything, that way your precious taxes cuts and breaks will be plentiful. I am so glad that we have people like you in the world otherwise we would not know who the bad people are. My suggestion to you is actually see what a music therapist does for a child, or anyone for that matter and then you can make a comment.

I am so glad there are more people like me in the world who actually care about our youth, I am so glad I have a soul and a heart.

Good Day to you.


Music therapy works!!! Your article that blasts music therapy is not correct. I have now a adult son with severe autism and Music therapy has played a role in his imporvment. My son was almost completely nion verbal but music therapy helped him and it has been documented to show signifigant progress.

The Reporters over simplification of what Music Therapy is and how it helps would be the the same as me telling you how a newspaper operates. I can tell you how a reporter operates they pick a topic and then pontificate as if they actually know something about a issue without having any first hand knowledge.

Brad Doyle

Kylie Mote
Kylie Mote

Well, I had heard this morning that this week's New Times contained a story full of misunderstandings regarding the value of music therapy. And I was not surprised to see Sarah Fenske's name below it. I was surprised, however, to see that she didn't treat her readers to some of the full-of-herself boasting about what a true conservative she is. Yeah, you're an enigma�a reporter for a progressive paper with a conservative mindset. We get it. Really. But nonetheless, her usual self-righteous tone and overall arrogance certainly conveyed, as usual.

Thankfully, music therapy does not need Fenske�s stamp of approval with regard to its value and effectiveness in helping children with disabilities. The field has a few decades worth of research behind it to attest to its credibility. While Fenske might feel like it is simply a bunch of touchy-feely nonsense, it is in fact an established profession that is in high demand in many different areas of healthcare. Music therapists have college degrees in music therapy and have obtained additional training and certifications. Anyone who doubts the importance of this therapy can simply look at some of the innovative research that Arizona State University�s Barbara Crowe has been involved in over the years.

On a personal note, this whiny middle-class parent has a daughter who worked with a music therapist for several years. This therapy was vital in motivating my daughter to communicate, reducing the intensity of several sensory integration issues she experiences, helping her stay focused on activities and play, and giving me a valuable resource (her therapist) in my struggle of finding ways to help her maximize her potential. Music therapy was no less important in the intervention process for my daughter than speech or occupational therapy. And I am willing to bet that many other whiny parents would agree with me.

As far as our ailing economy is concerned, I doubt any supporters of music therapy need Sarah Fenske to enlighten us about our state�s budget crisis. And I am pretty certain that we don�t need any tough love reminders about the fact that the state may have to make cuts that hurt. Perhaps we simply take issue with the fact that the needs of children and families seem to be the first in line for the chopping block. And maybe we feel like this is an opportunity for our state to be a leader for once by demonstrating that we aren�t willing to sacrifice the welfare of our most vulnerable when things get rough. Or perhaps we don�t want to see hundreds of committed professional therapists unemployed. Or maybe we just desperately want to help our kids.

Either way, while I understand that we can�t count on Sarah Fenske for sympathy, we should be able to count on her to do a decent and accurate job reporting on this issue. Her ignorance about what music therapy involves is apparent. And this story amounts to little more than a sanctimonious rant that seems to be her habit.


Your comments dont "prove" shit boyo. You want to prove something give uus quotes, links to offical documents that verify what you say


I loved this post Sarah. You had everything right except the facts. Meth use has been cut in half since the meth project began. man...it just must suck to have to lie to make your old tired out point. The 2 year survey of over 10,000+ arizona highschoolers show that over 1\2 of the kids who used to use meth have stopped it and the sheer majorities that say they think meth is a a horrible drug when 2 years ago ( before the meth project ) they said the complete opposite.

god damn, it must suck to be proven wrong.


If music therapy was simply teaching socialization to kids with disabilities, you'd have a great story.

But it's not, and you don't.

Check your facts, and provide the public with some reality-based comments. You might also want to look into the articles the New Times has posted in recent years regarding the benefits of evidence-based practices such as music therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, physical therapy, etc. The prevalence of developmental disabilities indicates that you won't have to travel more than a hallway's walk to find someone who has a connection to the benefits of such professional therapies. And if you doubt the efficacy of music therapy, simply ask one of the "important" therapists you mentioned (speech, physical, etc.) who have ever worked with a board-certified music therapist. They'll be able to speak more intelligently about it...


A few points of reference for those that are unfamiliar with music therapy from an actual music therapist practicing in the Valley:

Music therapy is not simply teaching communication and expression of thoughts and emotion through music. It is a much more far reaching, evidenced-based field. For those in question, I urge you to consult musictherapy.org, the website for our national organization. You can also visit azmta.org for further information.

Here are a few facts:

1. Music Therapy is a unique and vital professional therapy2. Music Therapy is an evidence-based therapy3. Music Therapy is not merely a teaching methodology4. Habilitation-music as it exists currently in DDD is a highly cost effective service. In the next 3-4 months alone, the cut to music therapy will cost the state almost one million dollars because with each lost hour of music therapy it must be replaced by an additional therapy.

As a professional music therapist, I urge you to investigate these valuable resources in order to fully understand the impact of music therapy on the DD population as well as many other populations.


The reason Highschhols have sports programs is becuase they generate money, either thru ticket sales of federal dollars.

But since you know all about this please explain how a child who learned to communicate with a musical insturment and not their voice asks for directions, or for change from a twenty. Or tells someone that their parnets had an accident and to please call the cops?


To lujlp. You�re missing the point of music therapy. It�s not music lessons, its music therapy. The point is not to teach them to sing, or play guitar. It�s to teach a much larger picture, of communication. Just like Jar high and high school sports. Why does the school have to fund these programs? To teach a child to throw a ball, or catch, or kick? No, it has so many more social lessons; it�s about far more than just throwing and catching a ball.I am married to a music therapist, I never knew what it was till I met her, and I might have reacted much like you did before I learned what it�s about. So try not to develop such strong opinions and make suck ignorant statements about something quite obviously know nothing about.


ANd another thing, what makes a sound from an object so inherently better for these kids than a sound generated from their voice box?


So how do you say "How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?" with a harmonica

Do word like there, their, and they're sound simmilar and if so how do you seperate them?

Does a child who learned music therepy speech in french need a translator to speak to a child who learned music therepy speech in english?

And lastly what good does it do to teach these children a method of communication that is wholy subjective and that noone else knows?

After all to one kid A sharp combined with Cflat could mean hello, but to the kid he said heelo to A sharp and Cflat could mean your mothers a whore

And to those of us who speak words it sounds like two note


Obviously you are one of those individuals who completely "missed the boat" on what it is that we do as music therapists. In addition, did you know that music therapy is the FASTEST and MOST DEMANDED service before speech therapy and occupational therapy? Well, it is. There are many parents who would MUCH rather have music therapy than speech therapy, becuase their child actually speaks by using music than by playing games with a speech therapist. In order to be a music therapist you have to have a 4 year degree from an approved university (AMTA) approved, complete a 6 month internship, and also be licensed to practice as a music therapist. So NO! No one can just BE a music therapist. In addition, we do not just work on socialization skills. We work on communication, emotional, physiological, psychological skills. There is TONS of research backing up why music is beneficial and what seperates us from just a music performer. How about next time you do some research about what it is that you don't understand than rattle your mouth on and on about a program that is equally important to the other therapies out there.

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