Current music therapy status
As we can see in Wikipedia, the common definition of "music therapy" is "the use of music to improve health or functional outcomes. Music therapy is a creative arts therapy, consisting of a process in which a music therapist uses music and all of its facets - physical, emotional, mental, social, aesthetic, and spiritual - to help clients improve their physical and mental health. Music therapists primarily help clients improve their health in several domains, such as cognitive functioning, motor skills, emotional development, communication, sensory, social skills, and quality of life by using both active and receptive music experiences such as improvisation, re-creation, composition, and listening and discussion of music to achieve treatment goals. Some commonly found practices include developmental work (communication, motor skills, etc.) with individuals with special needs, songwriting and listening in reminiscence/orientation work with the elderly, processing and relaxation work, and rhythmic entrainment for physical rehabilitation in stroke victims. Music therapy is also used in some medical hospitals, cancer centers, schools, alcohol and drug recovery programs, psychiatric hospitals, and correctional facilities".
In reality, this definition is further reduced when it comes to applied music therapy. As it is treated as a form of arts therapy, it is mostly used for its rhythmic properties - for example, helping a disabled person recuperating movement, etc. The word "spiritual" is merely used because it is known that music uplifts the spirit, but there is no spiritual practice used in conjunction with music therapy. Improvisation and composition have nothing in common with that to which those terms refer. They can at best be a sturming and outpouring, with no cognition of musical rules. One may simply hammer and destroy a wall with the same outcome. Listening and discussion can be a music lesson, but not a therapy. Helping an old person remembering the song he liked when he was a lad is an exercise of memory and again has no relation to the healing properties of music.
To be very clear, modern music therapy has nothing to do with music or the properties of sound. If we are talking about music having an observable physical effect on a person by the way of its intrinsic properties, this field is completely ignored. Music is only used as an ancillary palliative treatment to serve other means. It could be removed, substituted by another form of arts therapy, and nothing would change. Therefore, its use is simply laughable.
From a certain point of view, it is understandable that somebody wants to trick the others with useless gymnics of the mind instead of taking his responsibilities. As society is structured today, every move in any field is likely to hit the big interests of somebody. Imagine if a new music therapy pioneer would come out and propose music to accelerate bone repair, anesthetize without the need of anesthetics, shatter microbes (including erasing seasonal flue), re-program one's mind - and incidentally, this is exactly what music can do. He would be challenged at once, because he would usurp the sacred field of medicine. Therefore, somebody had to come out with some idea, so that music therapy would not appear as a competitor with other fields. And of course, if it does nothing or almost nothing, it is even better, as it does not collide with other fields and requires no further test. So, they came up with the modern view of music therapy, whose effect is more a secondary effect rather than a real effect. But this way, they can easily combine it with other fields, such as rehabilitation, medicine, without touching them.
It is a real misfortune that people, with no musical knowledge, try to size this field for themselves, creating lobbies and laws in many countries. In Italy, they instituted a Federation of Music Therapists, stemming out from a University, and are trying to make a law that will restrict this field to only their people.
Music must remain the legacy of humankind and be accessible to all, as it is intrinsic in the whole Creation. Every efforts needs to be done to disrupt any attempt to establish a monopoly.