Music Therapy; a Catholic View?


I felt led to take an intro course in Music Therapy this fall at a secular university (with the rest of my courses at a Catholic school).

I want to make absolutely certain it entails more than, “Patient had a favorite song. I played it for him. He felt better. I sent him a bill for therapy services,” so I’m likely to be overly suspicious of all claims made in the class.

At the same time, I know in my heart (but can’t prove yet) that the gift of music ranks right up there in importance with the Rosary in terms of therapeutic value. Can I get a Christian perspective on this…ideally from a practitioner or patient, or someone with a music ministry?


I’ll share some of my thoughts but I won’t claim I have the right answer. :slight_smile:

The Rosary is a devotion. In the Catholic sense, it involves meditation and prayer, and a humble giving of ourselves in love. I’m sure other people can define this better. To me the rosary is a “tool” to help us pray – to connect us with God. It can be therapeutic, though I doubt that most consider the goal to be one of therapy (well, I take that back – if we remember that Jesus is the Divine Healer, then perhaps prayer is therapy).

Music certainly is a wonderful gift from God. It has more than one purpose of course – entertainment, prayer and worship, therapy (in the sense of comfort) come to mind. Ecclesial music helps us to meditate and pray, to build up community in faith, and to give glory to God. I suppose it can be considered a “tool” too. A means to connect us with God.

In secular professional therapy, there are many interventions, or approaches to help a patient or client to heal. It’s individualized, so “rank” or importance is based on what best helps each person. As for ranking music against the rosary, I think you can say the same.


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