We are grateful for the approaching first-year anniversary of partnering with families through the Down Syndrome Association of Greater Charlotte - Roots & Shoots Little Achievers. Do you or a friend have a young child with Down syndrome? Please share this flier with planned Music Classes through the summer that our staff will facilitate and help spread the news about this community offering!!
Somehow it’s already been a full month since the Southeastern Region of American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) Conference was held in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Remarkably there were over three hundred music therapy folks that gathered despite changed dates and locations that the regional conference committee and leadership resolved.
The trip began earlier in the day because of a delightful opportunity that PMT enjoyed... mingling at a networking breakfast hosted by ASC Greenway in Fort Mill, SC. Since then PMT has partnered to become a Business Blitzer through the Anne Springs Close - Greenway and enjoyed networking with fellow Blitzers and Trailblazers in our community who share passions for keeping green space, enjoying and preserving nature.
On a personal most it was most restful staying off of the conference hotel site to catch up with local family. Many memories surrounded their piano pictured at left, from holiday rituals to family get togethers, plus new ones from sight-reading pieces stored in the bench. One of the highlights of music therapy trainings and conferences is the incorporation of music making and instruments since that is the craft with which we hone. This home away from home helped fill my enjoyment of spontaneously making music outside of clinical or instructional applications.
Some of the educational highlights in Chattanooga included dynamic concurrent sessions especially by hospice and bereavement clinicians. I was impressed by many of the research poster sessions that I visited and was proud to know many of the students and a newly certified music therapist through my work as a clinical supervisor at a nearby music therapy training program.
An appealing draw on Friday after the closing session was discounted continuing education trainings. I opted for the ethics course and only regretted the winding journey home through the mountains at nighttime!
A refreshing amenity at the conference hotel was fruit infused water available every day. Pictured on the left is a glass dispenser at a local restaurant that boasted having several of these. Each dispenser required dozens of pineapples - that's a lot of prep! Work conferences that have healthy perks incorporated are always delightful. Having attended this year's regional conference without one of my children in tandem, it was also restorative catching up on uninterrupted sleep.
Reuniting with music therapy mentors, colleagues and friends is a privilege and a huge appeal to attending music therapy conferences. There were several important meeting sprinkled throughout the three days such as state business, regional business and continuing discussion for master's level entry in the profession. Plus at the awards luncheon and portions of meetings it was exciting to celebrate the successes of role models in our region including retirement and being awarded for supervising over one hundred music therapy interns... congrats again to Dr. Beth York at Converse College and Betsy Neal at Palmetto Health Baptist!
The same timeframe was nostalgic for me since the Mid-Atlantic Region of AMTA was hosting its conference in Pittsburgh PA. I appreciated following photos and updates through social media and friends still living in the area who attended the conference held at the scenic location of Station Square. As my undergrad program at Duquesne University and first music therapy job was near Downtown, I was reminiscing about the three rivers and the vibrant community of creative and expressive arts folks.
In conclusion, I am grateful to be an active member of the state, regional and national associations of AMTA. It is through these networks that I receive support and mentorship with my private practice that is continuing to serve the Greater Charlotte Area of the Carolinas. We are fortunate to have our own ADA compliant clinic space in South Charlotte, NC. Stay tuned for some open houses coming later this summer to drop-in for a casual meet and greet or music making.
Thanks for following along to read PMT's blog and hearing a recap of the south eastern regional conference in Tennessee. It is with your interest and support that PMT can continue music therapy services, music instruction, in-services and continuing education for music therapy professionals and students... now reaching beyond the Charlotte Metro Area by offering its first online CMTE Course through The Certification Board for Music Therapists "Aging, Intellectual Disabilities, and Implications for Music Therapists."
Written by Melissa Reinhardt, MSEd, MT-BC
A referral is defined as “the act, action or instance of referring” whereas “refer” means to
“send or direct for treatment, aid, information or decision." In the field of music therapy, persons must be referred for music therapy services. According to AMTA (American Music Therapy Association), “children, adolescents, adults, and the elderly with mental health needs, developmental and learning disabilities, Alzheimer's disease and other aging related conditions, substance abuse problems, brain injuries, physical disabilities,
and acute and chronic pain, including mothers in labor” can benefit from music therapy services.
More specifically, the Standards of Clinical Practice published by AMTA indicates in
Standard 1.0 Referral and Acceptance that “a client will be accepted into music therapy in
accordance with specific criteria.” Although there are no specific guidelines regarding who can refer a client for services, this often depends on the situation of the client. For example, a client in a hospital setting may be referred to music therapy by a physician, psychologist, speech-language pathologist or a child life specialist. A client in school setting may be referred by a special education teacher or a school psychologist whereas a client living in a nursing facility may be referred by a family member or social worker. It is ultimately up to the music therapist to accept a referral for services.
A referral can happen in a variety of ways, but most importantly must be in written format either through electronic means or through completing a specified music therapy referral form.
There are no standardized referral forms in music therapy; they are often created by music therapy professionals to provide the necessary information. According to Waldon (2016), “referrals may be written directly into a client’s record and should include, at a minimum: (a) the date and source of the referral; (b) the client’s demographic information; (c) the reason for the referral or presenting problem; and (d) the pertinent clinical information that could weigh on
making a referral decision. When responding to the referral, the music therapist should also document (a) the justification for accepting or declining the referral for an initial assessment; (b) a follow-up plan for meeting with the client (as appropriate); and (c) a record of consultation or contact with the referring person.”
When considering if music therapy might be a good choice for your loved one, it is important to examine the following: client’s responsiveness to music (positive or negative) and client interest in music. Possibly, even a client who did not benefit from traditional treatments
Because music is the tool in which music therapists use as the primary method of treatment, a client should have a positive response to music and/or musical stimuli. In addition, Hanser (1999) stated some general guidelines why some persons may be good candidates for music therapy:
weaknesses including communication skills, cognitive/academic skills, motor skills, emotional skills and social skills in both musical and non-musical settings to determine the possible effectiveness of using music therapy as treatment.
Hanser, S. B. (1999). The New Music Therapist’s Handbook. Boston, MA: Berklee Press.
Waldon, E. G. (2016). Clinical Documentation in Music Therapy: Standards, Guidelines, and Laws. Music Therapy Perspectives 34(1), pp. 57–63. https://doi.org/10.1093/mtp/miv040
Author: Ashley Tisdale, MT-BC
I recently returned from participating in Drum Circle Facilitators Guild Conference in Myrtle Beach!
As a music therapist, it's important to keep up with current research and findings to inform clinical work. This month, I found an *article about at-risk families and how music therapy can promote and improve emotional communication and support parent - child interaction. Here is a short breakdown of the details in this article!
This study was performed at a family care center in Denmark.
18 families (one parent and one child) participated. They were all described by social services as exhibiting signs of emotional neglect. The children's age ranged between 5 and 12 years old. Parents selected showed signs of emotional neglect and other minor mental health concerns such as depression and high stress. The research was conducted by Jacobsen, S. L., McKinney, C. H., & Holck, U..
This study was performed to explore how music therapy can affect parent-child interaction, parent stress, and parent-child relationship in families - specifically those in which the children have exhibited emotional neglect.
These 18 families were split into two groups: one group that received psychological and educational support (referred to as the "treatment as usual" group in the article) and one group that received both music therapy and treatment as usual. The music therapy sessions took place once a week over 10 weeks and each session was 45 minutes long.
Using various measurable tools and assessments over the 10 week period, the researchers determined that music therapy:
1) Considerably improved the parent's perceived ability to talk to their child
2) Increased the parent's perceived empathy levels
3) Improved mutual attunement and non-verbal communication skills between the parent and child
4) Improved the way the parents viewed their children (children were perceived as less stressful)
As this study has shown, more positive parent-child interaction is essential to treating emotional neglect in children. I am looking forward to applying some of the knowledge I gained in reading this article to my sessions!
*Jacobsen, S. L., McKinney, C. H., & Holck, U. (2014). Effects of a Dyadic Music Therapy Intervention on Parent-Child Interaction, Parent Stress, and Parent-Child Relationship in Families with Emotionally Neglected Children: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Journal of Music Therapy, 51(4), pp. 310 - 330.
Comment below about what you gleaned from this research article...
If you would like more information about music therapy research or music therapy sessions, contact our team!
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Two more days until...
Melissa Reinhardt, MSEd, MT-BC returns to South County Regional Library to make music in partnership with Down Syndrome Association of Greater Charlotte. This music class is for young children with Down syndrome and their parents or guardians. Miss Melissa will explain benefits of music therapy and music making for early childhood and share summer camp programs that PMT is offering in Charlotte. Read more about Friday's class on our promo flier:
Today we join in the international celebration of music therapy. March 1, 2018 is World Music Therapy Day.
Learn more about this global initiative organized by World Federation of Music Therapy. If you're on Facebook then check out some of the memes that were collected for the World Music Therapy Day Meme Contest!
Join us in celebrating music therapy here in the Carolinas and all across the world.
If you follow us on Instagram then you may have seen our posts for #mtadvocacy. Our practice needed some time to select 1 song per clinician since there are so many songs that come to mind!! Here's what our team members chose:
Count On Me
Ashley Tisdale, MT-BC selected "Count On Me" co-written by Bruno Mars, Mars, Philip Lawrence, and Ari Levine under their alias of The Smeezingtons. 🎧 ❤️ Here's the original music video!
Ashley’s Reasoning: The song is about support and the many lengths people are willing to go to so they can take care of another person. As music therapists, the support we give our clients is unique and tantamount to each individual’s growth. #mtadvocacy #mtbc #musictherapist #journey #professional #January #2018 #recognition
Road Less Traveled
Melissa Reinhardt, MSEd, MT-BC chose “Road Less Traveled” co-written by Jesse Frasure, Meghan Trainor & Lauren Alaina for her song. 🎵 Listen & watch here.
Melissa’s Rationale: This song reminds me to believe in myself! #mtadvocacy #mtbc #musictherapist #journey #professional #January #2018 #recognition
Gretchen Benner, LMSW, MT-BC chose “Try Everything” from Zootopia co-written by Hermansen, Eriksen & Furler! 🎶 Enjoy the music video here!
Gretchen’s Explanation: The lyrics resonate with the trek of advocating, challenge of educating, commitment of creating and resolution of supporting. #Shakira #SocialMedia #Advocacy #Zootopia #Pixar #movie #soundtrack #January #2018 #winter #mtadvocacy This was the 4th song that I finally settled upon. The initial songs that resonated were Diamond Rio's "Meet In The Middle," The Proclaimers "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)" and Vanessa Carlton's "A Thousand Miles." Although these songs are about romantic relationships they could apply to the adventures of advocating!
Thank you for reading this post about Music Therapy Social Media Advocacy Month!
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MUSIC Related Resolutions: New Learning, Listening & PLAyING
This blog post was inspired by the York County Library News, Information & Events Publication dated Spring 2018. In the final article six reading resolutions were offered to inspire patrons in 2018. Read below to learn about the music related resolutions that we pondered after considering theirs:
Let us know if you choose one of these resolutions or have a music related resolution to recommend! Cheers to the New Year 2018 and thanks for following our blog at PMT.
Written by Ashley Tisdale, MT-BC
It's December and the holiday season is here. Sometimes we make lists (and possibly check them twice) for more materials to add to the clinical space. Instead, I'd like to focus on my top 5 instruments, apps, and materials that I utilize in my sessions!
#5 - ONSONG (app)
I use the OnSong app on my iPad to store the lead sheets for a wide repertoire of music. We all have our "go-to" songs that we've memorized from the countless repertoire playing exams in school (Country was the hardest repertoire for me; what was yours?). OnSong is a great app that can make organizing all that repertoire easy and accessible. Simply find your song online, click the "Share" button, and select the OnSong app. Once you open the app, your lead sheet will be imported and your ready to practice!
And if the chords in the song aren't correct? No problem! There's an editing tool built into the app where you can change the title, artist, chords, and words in your lead sheet! You can also organize the music into "books" or folders however you'd like.
#4 - Guitar/ Guitar barre
Since percussion was my primary in school and I hadn't touched a string instrument since the days of my early childhood (violin) - I was pretty intimidated by the guitar. This is also the case for some clients. Learning how to play the guitar can be simplified by using finger charts, but after learning about open tuning, I have found another avenue to help empower my clients to learn a new skill and to set personal goals! When I use open tuning on a guitar, I usually use an adaptive tool called the "guitar barre". This tool allows the player to strap the bar on their hand, squeeze the tool against the neck, and strum away. The guitar barre is especially great for clients who have difficulty with fine motor skills or need to build up strength in their hands (palmar grasp).
#3 - Garageband (app)
This is a must have! Garageband has been near and dear to my heart since I got my iPad. This app gives everyone the ability to create and export their own music. With the easy play options on guitar, bass, and keyboard, and the "smart drummer" tool, this app is super versatile and adaptable. There's a wide variety of loops you can use as well to encourage free-style rapping and improvisatory music making. Using the Garageband app, my clients get to experiment with these instruments, record tracks, and in the end the create something they can call their own!
#2 - Drums
I might be a little biased, but I LOVE using drums in my sessions. Drums can be used to accomplish lots of different goals like self expression, sequencing, gross motor skills, group cohesion, just to name a few. I'm a pretty big fan of the REMO Versa Drums and paddle drums. They're lightweight, easy to transport, easy to store, and fun to play. There are also a wide variety of adaptive drum mallets for clients fine motor limitations. Drums are one of my most utilized instruments because they are super accessible and have a wide variety of extensions.
#1 - Q-Chord
The Q-Chord is a super versatile instrument. This instrument provides a full board of chords (major, minor, and sevenths), different instrument sounds, volume and tempo settings, background music styles, you name it! The touch pad is especially perfect for clients with limited mobility in their arms and fingers. This instrument is also another great tool for clients to empower and accompany themselves musically through learning chords sequences, engaging in improvisation, and song writing!
So, there you have it; my top 5 most versatile and frequently used instruments and tools!
What'd you think of my list? Like and comment below with your favorites! If you have any other great apps, tools, or instruments, we'd love to hear from you!
From all of the Piedmont Music Therapy Team... Happy Holidays!
Providing music therapy services for early childhood to older adults, music instruction and continuing music therapy education in Greater Charlotte Area of the Carolinas