- Leslie Bunt
- and Catherine Warner
Definitions of music therapy change over time and are culturally, historically, and contextually specific relating to different emphases within music therapy. Bunt and Stige define it as ‘the use of sounds and music within an evolving relationship between patient/participant and therapist to support and encourage physical, mental, social, emotional and spiritual well-being’ (Bunt and Stige, 18). This presents a holistic definition stressing music therapy’s relational contribution to the overall well-being of the individual and adopts the terms patient and participant to distinguish between medical and clinical contexts (patient) and more social and community-based areas of practice (participant). Bruscia defines music therapy as ‘a reflexive process wherein the therapist helps the client to optimize the client’s health, using various facets of music experience and the relationships formed through them as the impetus for change. As defined here, music therapy is the professional practice component of the discipline, which informs and is informed by theory and research’ (Bruscia, ...