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Shaping Employment Skills

Music therapists can help teach and shape core skills necessary for successful employment as young adults with special needs enter the job market. The specific target skills must, of course, be individualized to the needs of each young adult, but here are a few basic categories. (1) FOCUS. Most jobs require an employee to focus […]

Helping Others Understand the Nature of Music Therapy

A music therapy colleague was talking about her difficulty in helping administrators of funding agencies understand the nature of her music therapy services. Having dealt with that issue since entering the profession in the early 1970’s, I offer one way of approaching this issue.  Sometimes, despite my best efforts over many years, administrators and boards […]

Plateau in Academic Achievement

As students with developmental disabilities enter middle school, they may encounter a plateau in academic achievement. This should not, of course, stand in the way of their developing new interests and moving forward in other areas critical to life quality as they approach adulthood. If academics take a back seat, these students can focus on […]

Challenges in early childhood MT groups

Circle time music therapy groups move far beyond recreational sing-alongs for pre-school children. Those precious little kids – whether dealing with specific disabilities or other challenging issues or not – can be as mischievous as they are cute, so the music therapist is often dealing with behavior issues in circle time. Each youngster in the […]

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 […]