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Two people. One is holding a drum, and one a guitar, they are making music and smiling.

Music Therapy is a great tool to have in your collection. In this article, we explain the benefits, what a session looks like, and how to access NDIS funds for music therapy.

Quite by accident, I discovered how therapeutic drumming can be.

I’m more of a strings person. And I thought, (beginners parenting) that my child might follow those traits. After a year of anguish about guitar practice, we took a break from guitar lessons. For a year we did nothing musically.

I am a great believer in the power of learning a musical instrument. I have seen or experienced music

  • helping with grief
  • as a coping mechanism in stressful times
  • help build connections
  • improve confidence
  • harnessed as an outlet for energy
  • balance moods
  • serve as exercise
  • and give a creative outlet.

Then I asked again, what instrument do you think you would like to play? (In hindsight, I was not prepared for the answer.)

My child responded with Drums.

Drum roll

Here we are 6 months later, and all my misgivings have changed. My child is excelling, and even I, after a tough day, have tried a new beat. (It’s a great way to ease frustration.) 

Music therapy supports people to improve their health, functioning and wellbeing. And with a little trial and error, you can find the right instrument.

What is music therapy?

Music Therapy is recognised as a professional allied health therapy.

Music Therapy can be held in groups or as a one-on-one class. Sessions are tailored by the therapist to meet the needs of the person.

Music therapists can work in partnership with other health professionals such as occupational therapists, speech therapists, physiotherapists, and psychologists.

A music therapy session can include

  • Listening to music selected by the therapist
  • Listening to music played by the therapist
  • Making music on an instrument
  • Singing
  • Writing lyrics and music
  • Musical experiences are used to achieve non-musical goals
  • A combination of the above

Music Therapy and The NDIS

Just like Speech Therapy or Occupational Therapy, Music Therapy can be funded through your NDIS plan if

  • Music therapy forms part of your NDIS goals
  • It is conducted by a Music Therapist who is registered with the Australian Music Therapy Association
  • It is considered reasonable and necessary


Music Therapy can be useful to learn and apply your functional skills.

Music Therapy can help improve participation and independence through

  • Improved Language and communication skills
  • Enhanced Mobility and movement, both gross motor and fine motor skills as well as improved balance
  • Reduce pain perception
  • Interpersonal interactions and social skills
  • Increased memory, attention and cognitive functions

Funding Categories

Music therapy can form part of the NDIS Core supports – in either
  • Participate Community, or in
  • Daily Living.
It may also be part of
  • Early Intervention (if the therapist is registered for 0 – 7-year-olds).
OR, in
  • Allied Health - Therapeutic Supports.

The category the funds come from depends on the exact qualifications of the therapist or the NDIS registration groups of the therapist.

More Information

DSC Mythbust - NDIS won't fund... alternative therapies?

Australian Music therapy association

Music and The NDIS including Easy English information

Search our Infoqore directory for music therapists near you or through online classes

IDEAS does information so you can do life.