Music Therapy with Older Adults


MusicWorx Toolbox: Music Therapy with Older Adults, Second Edition explores techniques for using music therapeutically with the older adult population. By design, music therapists develop and use music tools to encourage social interaction, improve feelings of self-worth, and build sessions that create successful and enjoyable client experiences. Contains several visual aids, suggestions for session props, and song lyrics throughout the resource.

All MusicWorx Toolbox Self-Study Courses are approved by the CBMT for 15 Continuing Music Therapy Education ( CMTE ) credits. MusicWorx Inc., #P-097, maintains responsibility for program quality and adherence to CBMT policies and criteria.

Links to downloadable content are included in your emailed receipt or found in your account!  Read More On CMTE Course Credits >

Please note that PDF copies are formatted for 8.5 x 11 and can be printed; however, they are not formatted for e-readers such as Kindle and Nook. The prices below for spiral-bound copies do not reflect shipping & handling.


SKU CMTE-011 Category

What’s Inside This Toolbox

  • 86 single-sided pages
  • 15 detailed relaxation session plans
  • more than 20 handout examples
  • list of articles, at-home exercises, and songs
  • digital files for all handouts (with CMTE purchase)

Session Topics

  • Session 1: America
  • Session 2: The Blues
  • Session 3: Christmas
  • Session 4: Fall
  • Session 5: Gardening and Flowers
  • Session 6: Musicals
  • Session 7: Rainy Days
  • Session 8: School Days
  • Session 9: Springtime
  • Session 10: St. Patrick’s Day
  • Session 11: Summertime
  • Session 12: Sunshine and Smiles
  • Session 13: Tasty Tunes
  • Session 14: Valentine’s Day
  • Session 15: Winter

Learning Objectives

References to items on the Board Certification Domains are based on the Practice Analysis Study of 2019. Those registered for MusicWorx Toolbox: Music Therapy with Older Adults will develop or improve their abilities to use music therapeutically in older adult settings for both individual and group sessions. Participants will learn about implementation and structure of therapy techniques and how to implement the methods in an effective manner.

Music Therapy with Older Adults addresses these specific competencies in the current Board Certification Domains:

Learning Objective 1
2020 Domains:
II. D | III. A. 2

Describe four effective music therapy intervention types appropriate for older–adult populations.
II. Referral, Assessment, Interpretation of Assessment and Treatment Planning
III. Treatment Implementation and Documentation

Learning Objective 2
2020 Domains:
II. D | III. A. 2

Individualize at least two of the interventions from the book to enhance the effectiveness of therapy.
II. Referral, Assessment, Interpretation of Assessment and Treatment Planning
III. Treatment Implementation and Documentation

Learning Objective 3
2020 Domains:
II. D. 13

Structure music therapy experiences by creating a therapeutic contour within each session via verbal facilitation, sequencing, pacing, etc.
II. Referral, Assessment, Interpretation of Assessment and Treatment Planning

Learning Objective 4
2020 Domains:
III. A. 5 (j, o, q)

Explain use of cues (visual aids, movements, etc.) to assist communication with an older adult.
III. Treatment Implementation and Documentation

Barbara Reuer, Phd, LPMT, MT-BC

Career Highlights
  • Music Therapist–Board Certified
  • Neurologic Music Therapist
  • Founder and CEO of MusicWorx Inc., San Diego, CA
  • Founder and CEO of Resounding Joy Inc., San Diego, CA
  • 2008 Recipient of AMTA Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Pain Management Award
  • 2008 Recipient of The Southern California Cancer Pain Initiative Pain Management Award


Music Interventions Proven by 40 Years’ Clinical Practice

Dr. Reuer is the founder and CEO of MusicWorx Inc., an international clinical training program for music therapy interns as well as provider of workshops and seminars covering wellness, community-building, and stress management, for healthcare professionals, educators, and corporate clients. Dr. Reuer’s vast experience includes more than 40 years of clinical practice in public schools, older-adult facilities, hospices, medical and psychiatric hospitals, corrections facilities, substance abuse and eating disorders programs, and health spas and course instruction at the community college and university level.

Dr. Reuer has served as President of the National Association for Music Therapy (NAMT). She was the year 2000 recipient of the Professional Practice Award from the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) for significant contribution to the practice of music therapy. And in 2008, Dr. Reuer received a Lifetime Achievement Award from AMTA.

Dr. Reuer has authored and co-authored several books and articles. Print media feature articles and numerous prestigious publications frequently quote her. She has appeared in several televised interview formats at local, national, and international levels, including the Lifetime Network television series New Attitudes.

Dr. Reuer also is the CEO of Resounding Joy, Inc., a California 501(c)(3) corporation that uses therapeutic and recreational music programs to improve the social, emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being of individuals and communities.  Resounding Joy has provided music therapy and recreational music services to more than 85,000 children and adults in the greater San Diego region since 2004. Resounding Joy board-certified staff music therapists and volunteers deliver services through four major programs that target four distinct underserved populations:

  • I wanted to take a moment to personally thank you for the value (and accessibility) your Toolboxes offer. If I may share something personal: I began my career as a music therapist in 2018 and unfortunately got burnt out in just over a year. I didn’t think I would ever work as a music therapist again! After a lot of personal growth and reflection (and a few years), I realized I owed it to myself to try again, and I started my current job in hospice in October of last year. It has been an extremely rewarding and healing experience thus far. I did a LOT of research when deciding which CMTE options to pursue, and I have chosen to do the majority with MusicWorx. I cannot begin to express my gratitude for your offerings. I have found great value in each of the Toolboxes I have purchased thus far. Being able to work at my own pace and getting to apply adaptations of the things I have been learning into my sessions at work has been invaluable. I am nearly at the finish line and just need to keep my head down and get through the last two courses. I will be able to recertify at the end of next month, and I owe a lot of that to you! THANK YOU!

    Chloe Hill, MT-BC - June 2023
  • I really enjoyed this course! The perfect amount of materials, sessions, and examples.

    Erin Brewer, MT-BC - March 2023
  • Thank you for a wonderful class, it has really opened doors for expanding my group work!

    Susan Falk, MT-BC - November 2021
  • The 'life review' sections of the interventions were most useful. I find it hard to continue to think of new questions and topics.

    Breanne Jackson, MT-BC - June 2020
  • Everything about this course was great. It had a lot of great information.

    Adam Krajnikconde, MT-BC - June 2019
  • Once again a fantastic refresher and so many new ideas for sessions. Thank you for making it work with my schedule - especially with a baby. Your courses make it so much easier to obtain my CMTE's.

    Lindsey Griffith, MA, MT-BC - April 2019
  • A lot of practical, engaging and fun session plans to choose from for working with older adults. This is a great resource if you need an idea at the last minute!

    Richard Cross, MT-BC - March 2019
  • The large number of detailed session plans is very useful to my practice. It is a great resource that I am sure I will refer back to when I need an idea for a session.

    Kelsey Hoisington, MT-BC - April 2018
  • I thought it was perfect and exactly what I expected.

    Julia Young - May 2017
  • I just started the first of two required internships for my counseling degree. I am planning to provide services at a shelter for women and children who have been trafficked, who experienced or witnessed domestic violence, and / or who are refugees. I have found myself referring to my MusicWorx Toolbox several times. The MusicWorx experience keeps on giving.

    Jen Spivey, MA MT–BC - June 2012
  • Thank you, Barbara! I think these Toolboxes are great! I am learning a lot . . . .

    Jennifer - November 2010
  • This was well organized and easy to put into practice right away. I enjoyed the drumming / instrumental activities.

    Laura - October 2009