What is Music Therapy?
"Music Therapy is the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music therapy program." --American Music Therapy Association
Although a client may learn to sing, read or play music within a music therapy session, the goals of the session are clinical and based on the individual needs of the clients. Based on information gathered by our Music Therapist during the first few sessions as well as from the client's medical diagnoses and or personalized goal plans (such as an IEP), Music Therapists create individualized goals that may address a wide variety of clinical needs.
What does a session look like?
With 1200 hours of clinical experience required, board certified therapists are trained to use various musical "interventions" to discover the best way for music to engage your unique child. They may use guitars, song, keyboards, drums and/or other music instruments to make music with your child in a way that builds on their own innate love for music to reach individualized goals. NOTE: Our music therapy approach is almost opposite the ABA approach which addresses behavior externally through form and structure. Music therapy, on the other hand, allows the child to express himself freely because it stems from his internal love for music (and often quite apart from the pressure of form and structure.)
When students are sufficiently well regulated, we love to provide age-appropriate group class opportunities to help them develop social engagement skills. Some clients are offered the option to participate in Early Music Awareness (EMA) classes, and others who are less regulated may be asked to meet at least once with a music therapist who can help determine the best way to group them with other children of similar developmental age and level of functionality. Music Adventures Groups are a kids' music group class using the relevant elements of EMA and consisting of 4-5 kids with a small age range (e.g., 4-6 years old). It focuses on playing different instruments and engaging in music as a group while also working on communication goals, joint attention skills, and peer socialization.
Music has long been known to be a source of healing to mankind. Now, great musicians with compassionate hearts are being extensively trained to use multiple tools (called "interventions") to bring assistance to those of all ages, abilities and disabilities.
Since Music therapy can address, cognitive, social, emotional, speech, motor, memory and behavioural issues, almost anyone with needs in these areas can be served effectively by music therapy.
At The Music Place, the greatest percentage of our clients are in the population of those diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), but we have also served those with other diagnoses such as traumatic brain injury, Williams syndrome, Down's syndrome, Alzheimer's, schitzophrenia, depresson, cerebral palsy, agoriphobia and more. Our team has a wide range of training and work together to share ideas to provide the most effective care possible.