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.
Posted by Gretchen Benner, LMSW, MT-BC
While listening to the soundtrack from Disney Pixar's Movie: Coco
For the last seven months, the private practice and teaching studio of Piedmont Music Therapy has utilized more methods of creativity and expression to adapt and modulate services during this pandemic. Check out a few modifications that were undertaken:
M Mitigate possible exposure or transmission by halting shared instruments in group settings and tweaking materials for interventions used with clients
O Offer virtual services, online trainings and learn-at-home instrument courses
D Dedicate our internal time for prioritized self-care activities and more continuing education opportunities
U Uplift! Practice safe socialization for uplifting health benefits
L Learn to use additional technology in order to pivot services virtually for consistent relationship with clients and students
A Appreciate resources from South Carolina's Small Business Development Center at Winthrop University and other community partnerships
T Trust the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention Guidelines while our team of board certified Music Therapists and a collegiate music therapy intern amended work procedures and policies
E Enjoy the adjusted space, tempo & dynamics of this unusual time
How have you utilized creativity and more expression during 2020? Leave a comment below or share with a friend!
Written by Melissa Reinhardt, MSEd, MT-BC
Board Certified Music Therapist on staff at Piedmont Music Therapy, LLC
Do you have a song that takes you back to a specific place and time? And everytime you hear that song, do you have the same response? For me, that song is “Livin’ On A Prayer” by Bon Jovi circa 1986 - my junior year of high school. I have a specific memory of driving in my car around town listening to my cassette tape playing the stereo in my car as loud as it would go (even though the sound was so distorted!). It is summertime and I have the windows rolled down and the breeze is blowing in my hair while I sing at the top of my lungs. So what is it about certain songs that can prompt these memories?
Various researchers have studied this topic and there are several themes. Firstly, brain imaging studies show that when we listen to our favorite music, our brain becomes stimulated and “feel good” neurochemicals such as dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin are released. These chemical changes in the brain are neurologically connected to the musical stimulus and the more we like the song, the more chemicals are released and the better we feel. Secondly, during the ages of 12 and 22, our brains rapidly develop neurologically and it appears that music preferred during this time of our lives is the music that sticks with us forever. This music is also connected to strong emotions thanks to an influx of growth hormones produced during this time. Thirdly, according to Daniel Levitan, a neuroscientist and musician, music listened to during these ages of 12 to 22 is significantly impacted by our social circle and becomes connected to our personal identity.
If we consider the significance of how music can invoke such connections, we can also look at how this phenomenon can be used therapeutically. In using music as a memory or reminiscence tool, music therapists working with older adults can choose music based on the client’s young adult years. I have found that using music from around age 20 is a good place to start. Then, using a search engine to find popular songs from that year is my next step. For example, if I was working with an 80 year old, I would look for music from the 1960’s. Using the website www.billboard.com is a wonderful resource as searches can be conducted based on the year and the results include the most popular music during that time. Combining this knowledge with the client musical preferences (i.e. show tunes, gospel, etc.) can help narrow down the field of possibilities. As these songs are incorporated into the sessions either live or recorded, the therapist can observe the client for positive or negative responses. Positive responses would suggest the continued use of this song and incorporating similar music (such as tunes by the same musician or group) whereas a negative response such as crying might indicate a need for further exploration into past experiences.
Thanks for downloading these worksheets for your leisure. We hope they were enjoyable!
Comment below with any song titles or artists you discovered:
Test your knowledge of song titles from 11 various genres, some of the clues include who sang the song. Answers will be posted to the blog on Monday, 4/13/20. We hope these worksheets will be enjoyable during a leisure break for you!
Thanks to Anabella & Nora, PMT Volunteers in high school for their time creating these. Please share with your friends and check back on Monday to check your guesses.
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.