Music lessons provided to clients, by music therapists: A descriptive study of current practices in the United States



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The purpose of this descriptive study was to determine current practices of board-certified music therapists who provide music instruction or music lessons to clients as part of their professional practice. It has been known anecdotally that music therapists provide music instruction, but the practice of ongoing systematic use of music instruction as an intervention has not been exclusively studied or unanimously defined in the literature. This survey sought to define the current scope of practice. Autistic Spectrum Disorder was reported by participants the most frequently, as the highest frequency of clienteles receiving music instruction. The most commonly reported goal domains and highest percentage of perceived benefits were musical, cognitive, and fine motor skills. Further research with a larger sample size could potentially identify trends to guide data-driven research. In the discussion, the author proposes a working definition of Clinical Music Instruction to distinguish this goal-based music instruction.