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What's the difference between music therapy, music education, and music performance?

Here's an example of how the differences might be applied.

Nadia has lost fine motor skills in their right hand from an accident. Nadia loves the piano.

Music Therapy: Nadia has a therapeutic goal of increasing fine motor skills in the right hand. The music therapist puts together music experiences/applications that will address this goal. The music therapist may teach Nadia how to play a melody or specific music exercise on the piano that targets utilization of the right hand. The music therapist will make clinical assessments and determine treatment based on Nadia's progress towards meeting the goal. The focus is on the process of music making and engagement on the piano with a therapeutic goal to increase fine motor skills in the right hand.

Music Education: Nadia is interested in learning piano. The music educator will focus on teaching piano to Nadia. The music educator may teach Nadia how to read music, proper hand position, interpretation of music, and other music elements. The music educator will decide how to present musical information that makes it easiest for Nadia to learn. The music educator is focused on Nadia's attainment of musical knowledge and skills in order to develop music proficiency on the piano.

Music Performance: Nadia really loves piano music and decides to attend a classical piano concert. The classical pianist has practiced many hours to perfect the piano pieces that will be performed for the audience. The pianist is providing a product of prepared piano music that is presented to the audience during the concert. Nadia enjoys listening to and receiving the piano music as a member of the audience.

Still have questions? Post a comment or give us a call at (971) 444-9311.

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