"Clinical music therapy is a well-established, evidence-based health profession and emerging economic research has demonstrated its cost-effectiveness and impact on patient satisfaction," according to the AMTA. "Most people don't know that music therapy has positively impacted patients for 60+ years. Music therapy offers scientifically substantiated benefits not only to patients with brain injuries, but also to individuals with neurological conditions such as Alzheimer's disease and Autism. According to data compiled by the Cochrane Collaboration, music therapy also has been shown to have a positive impact on patients' pain levels, heart rates and overall sense of well-being.
The modern history of music therapy dates to World War II, when returning soldiers with mental health problems and what was then known as "shell shock" reacted favorably to music. It was quickly discovered that music could be used in all areas of treatment. Music therapy also has a positive impact on anyone facing illnesses or disabilities across the age span. New scientific techniques like PET scans and MRIs are also making it possible for medical experts to truly "see" how interventions by music therapists are addressing medical issues like strokes, dementia, and Parkinson's disease.