The American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) recently released a report entitled “Music Therapy and Military Populations: A Status Report and Recommendations on Music Therapy Treatment, Programs, Research, and Practice Policy.” The report highlights several music therapy programs currently provided to the military as well as research emphasizing the efficacy of music therapy for military populations.
A major aspect of the report, which I found particularly interesting, was outlining the evolution of music therapy in the military. From the report:
“The roots of music therapy in the military span over 70 years of service in the United States. This legacy covers the entire continuum of care among service members, veterans, and their families. Music therapy services are an integral part of treatment delivered in military treatment facilities and VA medical centers throughout the country. Music therapy evolved from the early provision of music in military hospitals, to adjunctive treatment, to the delivery of evidence-based interventions.”
Consequently, the roots of music therapy are grounded in the military and the AMTA hopes to continue the tradition by increasing access to music therapy for today’s active duty and veteran populations. In addition, the opportunity for research within military health facilities concerning music therapy is abundant and underutilized.
This is an important report since it provides a framework for policymakers and program developers on the rationale behind music therapy as well as how to incorporate it for military populations. This is especially relevant for San Diego, where there is a large military population. The several benefits of music therapy make it an ideal treatment for military populations because it enhances recovery from physical, mental, and emotional injuries. As a safe and non-invasive form of treatment, music therapy has the potential to heal people through music, regardless of health status.