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July 31, 2014  
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History of Music Therapy

Music therapy in the United States of America began in the late 18th century. However, using music as a healing medium dates back to ancient times. This is evident in biblical scriptures and historical writings of ancient civilizations such as Egypt, China, India, Greece and Rome. Today, the power of music remains the same but music is used much differently than it was in ancient times.

The profession of music therapy in the United States began to develop during W.W.I and W.W. II, when music was used in Veterans Administration Hospitals as an intervention to address traumatic war injuries. Veterans actively and passively engaged in music activities that focused on relieving pain perception. Numerous doctors and nurses witnessed the effect music had on veterans' psychological, physiological, cognitive, and emotional state. Since then, colleges and universities developed programs to train musicians how to use music for therapeutic purposes. In 1950 a professional organization was formed by a collaboration of music therapists that worked with veterans, mentally retarded, hearing/visually impaired, and psychiatric populations This was the birth of the National Association for Music Therapy (NAMT). In 1998, NAMT joined forces with another music therapy organization to become what is now known as the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA).

History:

The Music Program was established in 1984.   After attending a cancer support group at University Hospitals Case Medical Center Seidman Cancer Center,

Deforia Lane
 presented an inservice to a small group of the Cancer Center's social workers, nurses and radiation techs.  This was done in appreciation for their support to her during her treatment, and to inform them of the benefits of music therapy for cancer patients and their families.  At the request of the staff, Dr. Hillard Lazarus, then Head of the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit, offered Deforia the opportunity to voluntarily provide music therapy to his patients.  After one year they would discuss how to proceed.  Dr. Lazarus encouraged the American Cancer Society to support Deforia's efforts and a $2000 grant was awarded to her to study "The Therapeutic Effects of Music on Oncology Patients".  Deforia began to see patients 4 hours per week. Within six months the responses of the patients and staff led to a fulltime position. 

Deforia Lane
 presented an inservice to a small group of the Cancer Center's social workers, nurses and radiation techs.  This was done in appreciation for their support to her during her treatment, and to inform them of the benefits of music therapy for cancer patients and their families.  At the request of the staff, Dr. Hillard Lazarus, then Head of the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit, offered Deforia the opportunity to voluntarily provide music therapy to his patients.  After one year they would discuss how to proceed.  Dr. Lazarus encouraged the American Cancer Society to support Deforia's efforts and a $2000 grant was awarded to her to study "The Therapeutic Effects of Music on Oncology Patients".  Deforia began to see patients 4 hours per week. Within six months the responses of the patients and staff led to a fulltime position. 

The program currently has three fulltime music therapists, one part-time MT and 2 MT interns.  In addition two part-time art therapists and two AT interns create an intriguing, creative team.  Nearly 50 MT interns have trained and served the University Hospitals Health System and provided a positive and significant impact on patients, staff and families.




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