written by: Melissa Reinhardt, MSED, MT-BC
Recently, music therapy was recognized as an evidence-based practice (EBP) for children (ages 0-14) with Autism Spectrum Disorder under “music-mediated” interventions by the National Clearinghouse of Autism Evidence and Practice Review Team at University of North Carolina/Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute. This report was written with the purpose to inform others of practices that demonstrate definitive evidence of positive effects for children and youth with ASD. Research published between 1990 and 2017 with behavioral, clinical, developmental and/or educational focus was reviewed. Evidence-based practice (EBP) is an approach to selecting and using interventions that have scientific proof of effectiveness through systematic reviews of scientific literature. This in addition to the practitioner’s (e.g. music therapist) considerations is crucial in order to provide the best possible service to persons with ASD. Between the years of 1990 and 2011, 3 research articles were included in the review and between the years of 2012 and 2017, 4 studies were included for a total of 7 articles in support of “music-mediated” interventions which includes music therapy. In looking closer at “music-mediated” interventions (MMI), the researchers define this as “an EBP that uses music as a key feature of the intervention delivery. This includes music therapy, which occurs in a therapeutic relationship with a trained music therapist, in addition to the planned use of songs, melodic intonation, and/or rhythm to support the learning or performance of target behaviors and skills in various contexts” (pg. 92).
In examining the results, researchers indicate that music-mediated interventions are an effective approach to outcomes in communication and adaptive/self-help skills for the toddler age group (0-2 years). For the preschooler group (ages 3-5), music-medicated interventions are effective to support outcomes in communication, social, play, school readiness, challenging/interfering behavior and motor skills. Children ages 6-11 years (Elementary group), communication, social, school readiness, challenging/interfering behavior and motor skills were supported by EBP. The middle school group (ages 12-14 years), EBP outcomes were identified as communication and social skills. No data was present for the high school aged group (15-18 years) and the young adult group (19-22 years).
As indicated, the preschool aged group and the elementary aged group had the highest number of effective practices/outcomes (6 and 5, respectively). It should also be noted that even though no data was present for the high school aged group and the young adult age group does not indicate that music therapy is not an effective tool, it means rather that no research studies have been published with these age groups.
Steinbrenner, J. R., Hume, K., Odom, S. L., Morin, K. L., Nowell, S. W., Tomaszewski, B., Szendrey, S., McIntyre, N. S., Yücesoy-Özkan, S., & Savage, M. N. (2020). Evidence-based practices for children, youth, and young adults with Autism. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, National Clearinghouse on Autism Evidence and Practice Review Team
Do Re Mi Fa Sol La Ti
Written eleven weeks into the pandemic's effects on greater Charlotte...
In recognition of the seven years that Piedmont Music Therapy has been able to make music with individuals in greater Charlotte, our team of board certifeid music therapists virtually connected with this video.
Through treatment sessions, lessons, trainings, community events and summer camps we are honored to share music with persons of all ages and abilities. Providing accessible music based initiatives is part of our mission and we are humbled to be a provider available to individuals, families, schools & organizations in Mecklenburg & York Counties.
Being able to connect with a person and accompany them through music is a tremendous honor. Thank you for trusting us to connect, play & grow in Charlotte, NC; Fort Mill, Rock Hill & Tega Cay, SC. We look forward to the continued journey in our community, especially through this trying time of health and systemic issues.
Do you have questions about our private practice or studio? Interested in partnering to support mental health needs in our community? Contact us so we can explore those opportunities. Thanks for your support and interest in creative & expressive art therapy and musical pursuits in Charlotte, NC.
How's your familiarity with emojis and song titles from genres like reggea, rock, pop, hiphop?
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.
Written by Melissa Reinhardt, MSEd, MT-BC.
I recently had the privilege of attending the Southeast Region (SER) Music Therapy conference held in LaGrange, Georgia. This once a year conference is a time for music therapists to learn, connect and grow with each other through attending continuing education seminars, concurrent sessions and business meetings. And, of course, the ever important networking with other professionals.
As the elected Secretary of the SER, I attended two Board of Directors meeting which included the following persons: Carmen Osburn, President: Christine Leist, Immediate Past President, Minda Gordon, President Elect: 1st Vice President: Martine Bullard; 2nd Vice President: Diane Garrison Langston; Yvonne Glass, Treasurer; Government Relations Chair(s): Rachel Coon-Arnott and Kirby Carruth; Regional Conference Chair: Austin Robinson; Student Advisor: Fred Ra and Student President-Elect: Rachel Barber.
Why is it important to know these names and their positions? According to the SER-AMTA Constitution and By-Laws (Article V, Section 2), “The board of directors shall speak, act on behalf of and represent the membership on matters pertaining to the profession and objectives as stated by the Constitution.” These are the folks who spend countless hours volunteering to serve our region for the benefit of all constituents who are involved in some way with music therapy - whether it be as a therapist, a client, a family member, a co-worker, etc.
You may wonder why myself and others decide to commit to a 2 year position to serve on the Board of Directors. Service is defined as “the act of helping or doing work for someone” Sound familiar? As music therapists, we act, we help and we do work for someone, but we are lucky enough to get paid for it! Service to our profession is just an extension of our role as a music therapist. Throughout my professional career, I have placed an importance on participation in service to the states and regions where I have lived and worked. To me, service is an opportunity to give back to the profession; a profession that I dearly love (and have for over 25 years!). Yes, there is work involved, but when the opportunity arises to know that I am making a difference, the answer is an easy one.
Click here to learn more about SER-AMTA. How have you served your profession? Has it made an impact on your life? If so, leave a comment below. I’d love to hear from you.
Older teens through adults, all ability levels are encouraged to join us remotely through the Facebook LIVE Stream. We hope this event will uplift and inspire participants.
Various songs will be sung, played on guitar and explored.
Here's a downloadable listing of positive affirmations that you may find useful to refer during the exercise led by Kate, MT Intern:
Thanks for making time to connect with us through music. We will offer another episode on Relaxing By The Stream, this Thursdsay at Noon (EST).
Questions or comments are welcome below...
This will be the 4th week that PMT provides an online event while encouraging neighbors to stay at home. If you are able to, help by sponsoring future events for individuals of all abilities by donating here: paypal.me/piedmontmusictherapy.
Thanks for connecting with us through music. Here are the files for this afternoon's event streaming LIVE on Facebook at 3pm (EST):
Please leave comments below:
Written by Kate W., MT Intern
This is my third month of a University Affiliated Internship with Queens University of Charlotte.
What does it take to become a music therapist? While the journey is different for everyone aiming to receive this credential, the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) regulates many aspects of the process through education, internship, board certification, and continual professional training.
I chose to begin at a community college, where I received my Associate's Degree in Fine Arts in Music and Music Education, with my primary instrument being guitar. Here I received extensive training in music theory, aural skills, music history and private lessons in both guitar and piano. I was also able to complete almost all of my general education courses – things such as math, English and science.
Next, I needed to find a college with an approved program in Music Therapy. In North Carolina, there are three choices – Eastern Carolina University, Appalachian State University, and Queens University of Charlotte. I chose Queens for many reasons, but mainly I appreciated the small, intimate class size and individual attention that students receive from professors. Since I had completed many preliminary music courses, Queens was able to offer me what is called an equivalency program, where they factored in my previous education and built a plan for me to receive a bachelors degree in music therapy and minor in psychology in under three academic years.
My main focus for these semesters was completing practicum hours both in the on-campus clinic and at contracted facilities throughout the community. This is where students work directly with clients of varied populations in one-on-one and group settings, under the supervision and guidance of a board certified music therapist.
After completion of all coursework and clinical hours for the degree, music therapy students must complete a clinical internship, usually consisting of six months of full-time work, again under the supervision of a board-certified music therapist working full-time in the field.
Overall, we end up with at least 1200 hours of clinical training under our belts by the time we complete our education. After this, we are able to sit for the music therapy board certification exam, which will give us the MT-BC credential when passed.
At this point in my internship, I am transitioning from observing sessions to leading interventions and I look forward to planning and implementing complete session plans in the coming months. My favorite thing about working with Piedmont Music Therapy is the wide range of clientele I have the opportunity to work with, from children and teens with developmental disabilities, to older adults in memory care, to individuals in addiction recovery. I love seeing firsthand how versatile music therapy is and how different music therapists connect with their clients.
At last week's southeastern regional conference of the American Music Therapy Association in LaGrange, Georgia, we were delighted to learn that a nomination for the annual Advocacy Award was awarded to one of the educators that we collaborate with. Miss Diane Duncan, Special Educator at St. John's United Methodist Church Preschool in Rock Hill, SC has been a constant advocate for music therapy over the past 5 years, beginning with her willing to have group music therapy services as a part of her special needs classroom resources at SJUMC Preschool under the leadership of Katie Goodwin, SJUMC Preschool Director. During music therapy sessions, Ms. Duncan and her aide are a constant support with their students providing assistance in any way that allows the student to be successful. Ms. Duncan is a true example of how music therapists and special education teachers can work together! Additionally, she acknowledges the value of music therapy in early intervention and has shared this with her student's parents which has led to numerous referrals for individual music therapy services. Ms. Duncan's willingness to be a model during and outside of music therapy sessions displays a true advocate of music therapy. Help to congratulate Ms. Duncan and exceptional instruction and collaborative efforts provided by staff at SJUMC in Rock Hill - York County, South Carolina.
By Kate Wicker, Music Therapy intern
Written during the second month of my University Affiliated Internship - Queens University of Charlotte
Today’s blog will highlight one clinical study focused on music therapy and its effect on social skills in children with autism. Music is often referred to as the universal language, with the ability to create experiences that transcend human communication barriers. This quality is one that music therapists utilize and see the effects of daily in their clinical practice – especially in regard to the support and enhancement of developing social skills in children with autism.
The Journal of Music Therapy published a 2014 article that described the results of a study focusing on this very thing. During this experiment, researchers observed and tracked two social skills groups – one utilizing music, and one using non-musical teaching methods. To do this, they focused on things like eye gaze, joint attention, and communication initiation/response. They basically compared the two groups at the end of five weeks (with one 50 minute group session per week) and attempted to answer the question “is there any difference in social skill enhancement between children who received the music therapy group interventions when compared to children in the no-music group?”
For this study, the music therapy group showed increased joint attention and eye gaze in comparison to the parallel no-music group. The study results discuss how music acts as a structure to guide participants through a group session, which can be particularly effective for those with autism in comparison to sessions relying on verbal prompting alone. This shows that music can be a highly effective tool for use in the treatment of non-musical behaviors and functions.
While music therapy can be a fun and stimulating way for children with autism to grow and connect with others, it also has the ability to help them reach relevant and life-changing goals. If you or a loved one is interested in receiving services from a board-certified music therapist, you can find a list of approved providers here.
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.