Music Over The Years

Music has been around since the dawn of time. Ancient drums and flutes date back 40,000 years showing early connections to Homo Sapiens. Music has also been closely connected to Medicine throughout the ages, with well known links to Hippocrates (greek physician from around 400 BC). He and other were known to use music in healing patients, and it wasn't until the end of the 18th Century that music and medicine were were parted.

The 1950's saw a rise in university Music Therapy  degree programs after seeing music's value with hospitalized WWII vets.  Knowing that training for musicians was not enough to fully address mental and physical health concerns related to patients, additional training became available.   Most Music Therapists at this time were following a psycho-social model, addressing emotional needs.  

The next step of the Music Therapy evolution came when researchers of various disciplines began investing in medical studies, looking at the correlation of music with physiological responses; heart rate, respirations, blood pressure, blood work, galvanic skin responses, and muscle tone, etc. Prominent Music Therapists such as Jayne Standley (Florida State University) also began researching in hospital settings, and showing significant outcomes with premature infants.

in the 1990's the body of Music Therapy research began to blossom. Through increased research trials, significant findings, new diagnostic tests/imaging studies, and the development of specific Music Therapy techniques, Music Therapy finally has significant scientific backbone and the attention of many in medical and rehabilitation fields. 

We have seen large contributions to Music Therapy by the development of Neurologic Music Therapy (Dr. Michael Thaut and his team) to address  sensori-motor, speech and cognitive rehabilitation has been key in the progress and growth of Music Therapy, and is recognized by The World Federation of Neurologic Rehabilitation. For more information visit:

In addition, Dr. Wendy Magee has done significant research over the years related to disorders of consciousness showing the value of Music Therapy as  an assessment tool when the patient's awareness state is in question.

Music has come full circle, back to it's historic partnership with medicine. Music Therapy is that link between Music and Medicine.