Continuing education trainings, conference sessions and workshops have been more convenient than ever before due to scheduling options with recorded features of events and the elimination of travel logistics. Personally receiving a telehealth visit with a pediatrician or allergist is a lot more manageable with children and a work schedule than such an appointment two years ago!
Facilitating events for families, educators or individuals living in residential care facilities has become more accessible due to the opportunity of virtually connecting through a device. The developments of schools and organizations to welcome such offerings is encouraging as the specific platforms are continuing to evolve with features like changing the background, including close captions and recording capabilities. Additionally the paper trail for intake processes with clients has become more accessible through a digital process.
This week there is a freely accessible event, June 5-12 that two PMT Staff are excited to partiicpate in. The PURA Syndrome 2021 Virtual Conference includes an impressive panel of international experts - registration is available here.
I'm grateful that virtual offerings is one of the developments that will continue to evolve and support further growth from the global pandemic. Such new opportunities have expanded our connection with people for which I could not have predicted.
How have you benefited from virtual offerings or are you still exploring such opportunities to safely connect?
In celebration of making music with individuals of all ages and abilities in greater Charlotte since 2013, we're releasing this free Coloring Book designed by PMT Staff Ashley Tisdale, MT-BC.
We hope that this will be an enjoyable resource for you as it includes various instruments, a scene from an individual music therapy session, plus a page for you to design your own facial mask!
Help by sharing your completed works of art via social media and tagging @piedmontmusictherapy
bodhrán and tippeR
Created by Ashley Tisdale, MT-BC
Remove bottom of spring pan (if using spring pan) or remove lid of cookie tin, we will refer to this as the “frame”
Lay a strip of packaging tape tightly across the diameter of your frame and a second perpendicular to the first (shown below)
Continue to place tape tightly across the frame in star shaped pattern until you have a completed surface - you will need a lot of tape for this!
Take your bamboo skewers and bunch them together into a cylindrical shape, Tape the center, top, and bottom of the skewers to secure in place - cut off the pointy tips and shape into a smooth edge
Tightly wrap the rough end for better grip. Cover at bottom of stick with small piece then wrap around like a tennis racket or baseball/softball bat
Play your drum!
We hope this was a fun project for you. Share feedback below or post to one of our social media channels!
Every year, our staff of music therapists join colleagues from around the world in celebrating World Music Therapy Day.
Here's a video recording by Melissa Reinhardt, MSEd, MT-BC, Neurologic Music Therapist who is on staff at Piedmont Music Therapy. Mrs. Reinhardt shares a clinical highlight from individual treatment with a young child.
How will you celebrate your work in music therapy treatment, or support a loved one who is receiving music therapy services? Join individuals from all over recognizing their progress!
Written by Melissa Reinhardt, MSEd, MT-BC
Neurologic Music Therapist
Music Therapy Internship Director
I recently completed training to become a Neurologic Music Therapist (NMT) at The Academy of Neurologic Music Therapy. This 4 day intensive training (virtual!) opened my eyes to a new way to use music to help the clients that I work with. After 25 years as a practicing music therapist, I realized I was pretty set in my ways of how I “did” music therapy. After the training, however, I now know there is so much more research and specific ways to use music that has been scientifically proven to change the brain.
NMT is an evidence based practice based on the “therapeutic applications of music to cognitive, affective, sensory, language and motor dysfunction due to disease or injury to the human nervous system.
Thaut & Hoemberg, 2014
So, what does that mean? Many years of research, particularly over the last 20 years as technology has enabled neuroscientists to conduct brain imaging studies, has shown that music changes the brain. To be honest, I was aware of this, but I did not really understand how or why music can affect our brains in so many different ways.
How do we know that music is so deeply embedded in our brain? Let me give a few points to consider:
These are just four simple examples that music is processed throughout our brain, it connects the right and left hemispheres, it can create new synapses to replace damaged ones, restore language networks and functional speech/language, stimulate speech centers, is effective in cognitive rehabilitation training and helps to access memories.
Research has demonstrated that persons with the following diagnoses/disorders may benefit from Neurologic Music Therapy: Alzheimer’s Disease, Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), Autism, Stroke, Parkinson’s to name a few. Interested in learning more? Please visit our private practice page with more details on music therapy treatment.
Do you want to finally learn that favorite piece or regain your skills? Does a family member dream of learning a new pastime? Just wanting a creative space to escape to during the week? Whatever your reason, PMT can assist you during the instrument selection process!
Difference in electronic keyboards and an acoustic piano
A quality electronic keyboard or a used acoustic piano are both options for beginner/intermediate musicians! Here are some pros and cons.
If money and space are not issues, purchasing a new or used acoustic piano is the recommended option! An acoustic piano provides the opportunity to create more colors and nuanced sounds, and the learner will be more likely to explore healthy use of the arms and body to create that preferred sound. Also, the mere presence and visual spectacle of the instrument motivates the learner as an invitation to walk up to, sit down and explore!
Considering a keyboard? Read on! The keys on electronic keyboards are typically easier to depress. Therefore, starting on a keyboard can be helpful for an adult who has tension issues or for the young beginner with smaller hands. This lighter “weight” of the keys can be helpful for the learner who is working to avoid pushing the keys in an attempt to make sound. All pianists should aim to develop a technique that is free from tension and, instead, utilize arm weight for ease of playing. Please note: acoustic pianos can also have lighter “weight” of the keys, but it is a more common feature found on electronic keyboards.
Another highlight of an electronic keyboard is that it takes the least amount of space in your home since there is no cabinet or height restriction. An average length for an acoustic - upright piano - is around 59 inches and depth of 20 inches. The average length of an 88-key keyboard is 52 inches and depth of 13 inches. Please note: ask for measurements of the instrument prior to purchase to guarantee size. The full 88-key electronic keyboard is recommended since the learner will have optimal creative exploration and development of expansive technique. If space and money is truly a restriction from owning a keyboard, a 66-key keyboard is an option!
Keep in mind, the electronic keyboard should have a pedal, bench for sitting, and stand to hold the instrument (sometimes sold separately) and also have "weighted" action (so that it will feel like an acoustic piano). Additional advantages are the following: you do not have to tune a keyboard and it can be moved easily for portability/room set up. Acoustic pianos are typically tuned twice a year at seasonal changes due to humidity. Lastly, some learners find keyboards to be a motivational practice tool since recording features are built into the keyboard. The learner can provide self-feedback on one's practicing or performance recordings.
A starter, acoustic piano is typically in the $500-1000 range, which is comparable to a starter electronic keyboard and its accessories listed above. Once learners develop in their studies, they will want to invest in a higher quality, acoustic piano to foster their technique and, most importantly, to receive a more beautiful sound as a result of their actions. People may have luck searching for used pianos via Facebook MarketPlace or local Craig's List ads. Also, Marshall Piano Company in Rock Hill, SC is a local option for piano inventory (they deliver too!).
If a person is deaf or has an hearing impairment then an acoustic piano is recommended because of the authentic harmonics present in the sound and the ability to feel the authentic sound vibrations.
After purchasing your electronic keyboard or piano, ensure the bench height is ideal for the player and that a foot stool is available for people whose feet do not reach the ground.
Enjoy tickling those ivories or jamming out an oldie!
Written by Gretchen Benner
Have you noticed how music can "help you keep control" amidst a time warp?
As we prepare for 2021, I am making time to review new recipes and priorities that I wrangled with since spring 2020. I am also reminded how important it is to adapt my stress management strategies. Part of my routine is running several times a week. Though I begin my route with prayer, the playlist that I stream has evolved greatly these past few months. Similarly the music that I listen to when doing dishes and preparing meals has changed. At times I needed solely instrumental music or a cappella arrangements.
Music was woven throughout my day to help create balance and stability amidst a stressfully fluid season. There is research that correlates to the benefits of music incorporated into one's routines & habits.
Dr. Kimberly Sena Moore, MT-BC shared a blog post to Psychology Today early into the pandemic with dozens of ways that a person could use music to help their daily lives during social distancing. Check it out here. The infographic "My COVID-19 Daily Routine" created by graduate students at Temple University help to highlight ways that music can be purposefully useful during your time at home.
As 2020 winds down, what are your care based intentions entering 2021? Perhaps the arts will play a new or evolved role in your daily schedule. Interested in exploring music genres & artists? Here are some resources to help:
Share how this post resonates with you or share playlist favorites that motivate you to make the most out of each day!
Our studio offered a hybrid recital amidst COVID19. While there was extra preparation, it was a safe & successful event. Here are the top four take aways:
In the future we'll incorporate creative clothes pins that students can decorate ahead of time or receive as performance gifts to secure their sheet music since it was breezy!
Team members on staff at PMT use various materials to support learners of all abilities.
The following linked resources are helpful during music therapy treatment and music lessons...
Miriam Tart, MMT, MT-BC recently arranged songbooks with color coding on the treble clef staff. Check out those digital resources available for purchase at $12/volume. They're categorized by genres of 1980's Decade, 1990's Decade, Rap, Rock, Religious, Pop and Country and include simplified rhythmic notation. They pair perfectly for desk bells and hand bells. Note that Boomwhackers include altered colors for G & A pitches.
We hope these linked resource are useful for you and your loved ones making music and creating sound with colorful resources!
During this time of the year, many high school students in their senior year are working on a graduation project involving research.
As a team of board certified music therapists, we receive frequent questions from such students curious about our educational and professional training.
These questions may also come about from seeing our uniform that includes a musical note when we're running errands on a work day... from a nearby driver in the parking lot who views one of our car magnets on display during mobile based work days... or while we're setting up treatment materials for a session out in the community.
We also respond to these inquiries from individuals who are considering a career shift and converse about pursuing music therapy through an equivalency degree program. Music therapists are also ethically held to Principle #3: To Be Accountable... with inquiries from individuals who wish to learn more about the educational and clinical training that was part of the certification process to practice as a creative and expressive arts therapist.
Viewing PMT's web page titled "Contact" we link credible sources online to learn more about the clinical background of music therapists. Those web based resources are recommended prior to completing in-person or phone interviews with clinicians on staff.
Due to COVID19 there are more accessible outlets to hear from credentialed clinicians about their music therapy career course beyond our private practice. In a few weeks, the American Music Therapy Association National Conference will include their second annual panel of music therapy professionals that is viewable online! Find out more information through @AMTA2020 Facebook for the upcoming live streamed event - November 21, 2020.
Additionally, there are five colleges in the Carolinas that offer accredited programs for a bachelor's degree (and even a master's degree at one of them) in music therapy. Here is a list of the universities with links to learn more about some of their upcoming virtual seminars & opportunities to ask questions to the music therapy faculty as well as read about coursework:
Because of increased safety precautions, this an unique time for individuals to learn more from music therapy faculty, researchers and clinicians. Thanks for any help sharing these resources to promote a more diverse field of music therapists.
Providing music therapy services for early childhood to older adults, music instruction and enrichment plus continuing music therapy education in Greater Charlotte Area of the Carolinas.