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Music Therapy During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Advocacy Highlights and Recommendations

January 3, 2021 07:05 AM

Music Therapy During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Advocacy Highlights and Recommendations

December 2020

Prepared by: Maria Fay, AMTA Government Relations Specialist; Dena Register, CBMT Regulatory Affairs Advisor; Kimberly Sena Moore, CBMT Regulatory Affairs Associate; Judy Simpson, AMTA Director of Government Relations

Music therapy continues to serve an essential purpose for clients, family members, and healthcare providers during the COVID-19 pandemic. In response to a national survey sent to music therapists in June 2020 (Fay et al., 2020), almost two-thirds of respondents indicated they have added telepractice as a service delivery option, the vast majority of which are live virtual music therapy sessions. This has not only allowed for continuity of services but has also enhanced therapeutic outcomes and improved family involvement in their loved ones’ progress.

The majority of survey respondents (75%) agreed that clients are responding positively to telepractice music therapy services; in fact, some reported that certain clients are thriving in ways that did not happen when seen in person. Additionally, many respondents noted family members are more involved during sessions, so they have witnessed the work and change that occurs when clients are engaged in music therapy. Finally, survey results indicated benefits for healthcare providers as well. Music therapists are supporting their coworkers in in-patient and residential settings (e.g., hospitals and long-term care facilities), who have expressed joy and gratitude for the connections made through shared musical experiences during a period of increased isolation and stress.

Music therapists have adapted the delivery of their services and diversified service options to meet needs that emerged following the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. These important contributions continue to benefit consumers, family members, and healthcare providers. For these reasons, access to music therapy services should continue to be supported through existing financial structures, as well as be included in emerging funding options. Additionally, music therapy services should be considered when identifying potential pandemic-related treatment and support services for consumers and healthcare professionals.


Fay, M., Preddie, R., Register, D., Sena Moore, K., & Simpson, J.(2020). [Unpublished raw data from the national COVID-19 music therapy survey]. American Music Therapy Association and Certification Board for Music Therapists.

To Cite this Document

Fay, M., Register, D., Sena Moore, K., & Simpson, J. (2020). Music Therapy during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Advocacy Highlights and Recommendations.