Music Therapy

Music Therapy for All Ages at MacPhail

Humans have long appreciated the healing and cathartic power of music. Music taps into a primal sense of rhythm that we all possess. Music is processed and produced through a different pathway than verbal speech. Bypassing that pathway allows clients to express themselves, communicate with loved ones, and experience the world more vibrantly.

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What is Music Therapy?

Music therapy is the clinical (evidence-based) use of the power of music to accomplish individualized, non-musical goals.

Board-certified music therapists address a clients physical, emotional, cognitive, and/or social needs. After assessing the strengths and needs of each client, our health professionals provide treatment that may include creating, singing, playing an instrument, and moving to and/or listening to music.

No musical ability is necessary!

Non-musical, functional goals areas addressed in music therapy include, but are not limited to:

Two students sitting at a piano smiling.

Who Can Benefit From Music Therapy?

Children, adolescents, adults, and older people with varying diagnoses may find music therapy helpful.

We serve individuals with varying diagnoses, some include:

Through music therapy, clients strengthen and transfer abilities to other areas of their lives.

What Are Adaptive Music Lessons?

MacPhail’s Music Therapy program also provides adaptive lessons for individuals who have difficulty learning music in traditional ways due to physical, cognitive or emotional challenges. Adaptive music lessons are uniquely tailored to meet the needs of the individual student by a board-certified music therapist. This ensures a successful music learning experience.

Student playing a bell and smiling

Music Therapy Research

Research in music therapy supports its effectiveness in many areas:

  • Improving overall physical rehabilitation and facilitating movement
  • Providing avenues for communication
  • Increasing people’s motivation to become engaged in their treatment
  • Providing emotional support for clients and their families
  • Providing an outlet for expression of feelings

Through musical involvement in the therapeutic context, clients’ abilities are strengthened and transferred to other areas of their lives.

What to Expect in the First Music Therapy Session

The first 2-3 sessions focus on the music therapist and client getting to know each other and assessing the strengths and needs of the individual client. During this time, an assessment form is completed to determine goals and next steps. The board-certified music therapist will provide the indicated treatment, which may include creating, singing, moving to, and/or listening to music. Progress notes and documentation will be completed on a regular basis and periodic updates will be provided. Your music therapist will be available to answer any of questions you may have.

Waivers, Tuition & Financial Aid


MacPhail is able to bill directly to Fiscal Management Services for music therapy clients who have Consumer Directed Community Support (CDCS) funds. Please contact Music Therapy Administrator Jessica Nagel at 612.767.5509 with any questions about CDCS billing.

Music Therapy Tuition

Music therapy session length is individualized to each client’s specific needs as agreed upon by client and/or caregiver and music therapist. Most clients begin with weekly sessions 30-, 45-, or 60min. More about tuition at MacPhail.

$52.00 per each 30-minute session
$78.00 per each 45-minute session
$104.00 per each 60-minute session

Music Therapy Financial Aid

Financial aid awards are based on need.  The amount of financial aid is determined by a sliding scale, which takes into account household income and number of exemptions. Learn more about Financial Aid.

How to Get Started

Call Jessica Nagel, Music Therapy Administrator at 612.767.5509 to schedule a 20–30-minute intake interview or fill out our online Intake Form.

The purpose of the placement interview is to learn more about the client to ensure the best possible fit with one of our qualified music therapists and to answer any questions that you may have. Once placed you will receive an email from the Music Therapy Department with useful details (the name of the music therapist, start date, location, etc). Placement is most often completed within a few days.

Music Therapy Case Study: Beth & Wu

Student playing a drum while teacher plays piano.

Community Partnerships

MacPhail Center for Music works in partnership with diverse organizations across Minnesota to bring our renowned Music Therapy Program to schools, care homes, hospices, hospitals, mental health services, and brain injury units.

MacPhail’s music therapy services are designed especially for the needs of each individual and the ethos of your organization. Our professionally trained, certified music therapists will work with your team to develop programming that will enrich the lives of the people that your organization supports.

If you are interest in learning more about our Music Therapy Community Partnership Program, please contact Jessica Nagel, Music Therapy Administrator.

Rock On!

Music Therapy Session & Class Offerings 6courses shown

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