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Autism + Music Therapy

Autism + Music Therapy = meeting unique challenges and needs of each individual with autism, no matter how diverse their level of abilities and disabilities. Autism is complex, and requires on-going assessment and careful monitoring of individual strengths and deficits in diverse areas – communication, social interaction, daily living skills, restrictive interests, repetitive actions, sensory […]

Factors in group music therapy

A music therapist must plan group music therapy carefully to meet the unique needs of each individual participant while at the same time creating a therapeutic atmosphere for the group as a whole. Effective group music therapy sessions often balance the following factors: 1. Therapist-directed vs. client-directed activities, 2. Waiting turns vs. simultaneous participation, 3. […]

Conversation Starters

Let’s brainstorm for a minute about music experiences that naturally encourage interaction – conversations starters if you will. Some ideas that come to mind are antiphonal and call-response songs, instrumental and vocal ensembles, musical skits and plays, improvisation, exercise and creative movement, and drum circles. Other musical catalysts for communication and speech include song writing, […]

Streamlined systems launched

For your convenience we have launched streamlined systems for ordering our professional self-study courses, for earning CMTE credits, and for secure payments via credit card, bank draft, or PayPal. The new system is a giant step forward in fulfilling our mission of providing practical, accessible, inexpensive professional resources for our colleagues. Music therapists and other […]

Emergency Ethics

Sometimes we get caught in the middle of conflict amongst colleagues, making it challenging to remain neutral and maintain professionalism. Consider the following seven principles when you find yourself in a difficult or awkward situation with your boss, your professional colleagues, or others at work: 1. Treat everyone with respect, whether they deserve it or […]

Assessment Snapshot

The term “assessment” is defined differently in various settings and situations. Assessments might be used to catalog, to verify, or to discover strengths and deficits. Some agencies use assessments to determine eligibility for services. Others use assessments to gather information necessary for developing therapeutic objectives in treatment or education plans. or for planning specific therapeutic […]


Focus on dignity by taking a few simple steps at work every day to build an atmosphere of respect and dignity for every single client, even if it seems as if they are not aware or do not care. Some absolute rules: avoid talking about the client as if they were not present, maintain confidentiality, […]

Behavior Categories

In order to develop the most effective interventions, music therapists categorize or prioritize behaviors during the assessment process. The categories below are one example of categories for challenging behaviors. 1. Dangerous Behaviors. Safety demands that we immediately address dangerous behaviors, those that have the potential for physical or emotional harm to the individual or to […]

More than making music

As a music therapist, I am able to use music to draw people into therapy, to develop relationships with individuals through active music-making, and to use the music setting to help people learn new skills, relationships, and attitudes, thereby enhancing strengths and compensating for deficit areas. But, because the individuals I see in music therapy […]

Speak Up!

Although music has some intrinsic value in encouraging communication, the music therapist can utilize specific strategies to help facilitate language. Consider these strategies: 1. Set the occasion for spontaneous interaction through pleasant, interesting music experiences. 2. Create a need to communicate by providing choices and asking for opinions. 3. Increase your sensitivity to other’s needs […]