Document Type

Capstone Project (Open Access)

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)


Music & Performing Arts


Recording Arts Technology


Music therapy is very well studied and has been used for such a wide array of reasons over the last half-century: from helping those with psychological disorders to improving cognitive ability for infants in the womb to aiding plant growth. This paper will analyze the effects of music therapy, specifically the action of learning and/or playing a musical instrument, in those who suffer from addiction. Specific forms of music therapy discussed will be one-on-one instrumental instruction, group classes, and instrumental practice. The paper will discuss different professional musicians who have successfully used this activity as a coping mechanism, as well as personal anonymous contacts. Through the lens of different recovery programs, including but not limited to traditional 12-step programs, the reader will gain an understanding of anxieties and depression that coincide with substance abuse and how this form of music therapy can be a vital coping mechanism and an additive to whatever recovery program is already being utilized.

Included in

Music Therapy Commons