Music Therapy Department of Music

Music Therapy Department of Music

Director of the program: Dr. Dorit Amir

The Music Department comes into contact with the general public in numerous ways. The Music Therapy study program, which was launched within the framework of the Music Department in 1982, is one of these ways. Through music, it is possible to deal with a wide variety of emotional, physiological, intellectual and spiritual problems, to cope with crises and unresolved conflicts, to improve one's state of health and quality of life. The patient is not required to know how to play a musical instrument; however, the therapist must be capable of playing a minimum of two instruments – one of the admission requirements to this course of study.

Clinical-research work in music therapy takes place in three main areas:

1.       Psychotherapy through music: emotional therapy, focusing on coping with behavioral and emotional disorders. Using music and words, the therapist helps the patient deal with crises in his or her life and with traumas from the past, attempts to produce changes in unhealthy thinking and behavioral patterns, to release mental blockages and bring about better adaptation. Music is the healthy nucleus in every person's soul, and "the song of the heart" is known for its unique qualities that improve mental health. Music therapy is also offered to people who do not suffer from special problems, and are interested in improving their quality of life, realizing their potential better and expressing their creativity.

2.       Music in the world of medicine: music therapists work in hospitals – in the oncology and orthopedics departments, in labor rooms and more. One of the goals of music therapy in the hospital environment is to reduce the levels of anxiety and pain through music. Music therapy helps patients suffering from neurological problems restore mental and/or motor abilities following strokes or other types of brain damage. One of the projects carried out within this framework, with the cooperation of the Heart Transplant Department of the Rabin Medical Center headed by Dr. Dan Aravot, includes a music therapy group for patients waiting for heart transplants, along with their spouses. The goal of the project is to reduce stress and anxiety and to try to cope with the waiting period in a more effective manner, thereby improving the quality of life of the patients and their families alike. The results of the project have been extremely positive.

3.       Community music therapy: this area, which focuses on transferring work in a closed room into community centers, has greatly developed in recent years both in Israel and around the world. This type of work is carried out in music conservatoriums – with children with special needs; and privately with new immigrants – in order to assist them in acclimating into their new community, at "Amcha" – community centers for Holocaust survivors and at additional locations. Music therapy projects dealing with the integration of children with special needs into regular schools are also conducted, with the purpose of enhancing their integration into their community.

Clinical research projects are carried out at the clinical research center, situated in the new Marcus Rosenberg Music Building. For example, a course in music therapy is conducted with the cooperation of the students' dean office, and is intended for Bar-Ilan students coming from diverse cultural backgrounds. Within the framework of this course, they learn how to accept each other through the music that each brings from his or her own background. Additionally, there are advanced music therapy courses intended for music therapists who are interested in expanding their education, as well as a clinic for children and adults. Projects involving the research of music during the Holocaust; music therapy for Holocaust survivors, their children and grandchildren; "Tav Piyus" ("A Note of Conciliation") – music as a connection and a bridge – creating a dialogue and a common language between the religious and the secular, between Jews and Arabs and between different generations.

Students and graduates of the Music Therapy study program work in a wide variety of institutions, such as schools, community centers, hospitals, prisons, rehabilitation centers and private clinics.


Last modified: 25/11/2012