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New research developments in the recovery of function following neurological trauma as well as basic and applied research relevant to music perception and production, seem to point to the suggestion that specific music therapy interventions that directly address the restoration of function as opposed to developing compensatory mechanisms, in certain circumstances, may now be a more appropriate treatment approach. We will address the issue of appropriate timing for the introduction of each strategy and discuss potential outcomes of each approach. As one might imagine, much of this research is published in the neurological journals, which music therapists may not regularly consult. It seems challenging enough just to keep abreast of new music therapy literature. Further, there is so much neurological research that the music therapy clinician often finds it difficult to know where to begin. This text provides an overview of a growing concept related to recovery known as neuroplasticity, and how specific training models in music therapy utilize this relatively recently identified phenomenon. Also, a framework will be provided to help guide the practicing clinician when attempting to build a lineage of systematic thought relevant to the use of music in neurorehabilitation, as well as discuss the frequently employed concept of behavioural compensation. Some music therapy literature that relates to these different concepts is outlined. Discussions surrounding the decision to use either of these two approaches are presented in relation to stages of recovery and the clinical presentation of the client.