Music Therapy is defined by the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) as “the prescribed use of music by a qualified person to effect positive changes in the psychological, physical, cognitive, or social functioning of individuals with health or educational problems.” Treatment is based on the understanding that all people have an innate responsiveness to music, and this response will remain despite any physical, cognitive or emotional delay. Because music therapy is a powerful and non-threatening medium, unique outcomes are possible through a variety of musical experiences, such as singing, playing instruments, moving and listening. Members of the client’s treatment team (doctors, social workers, psychologists, and teachers) often recommend music therapy. Research results and clinical experiences attest to the viability of music therapy even for those who are resistive to other treatment approaches.
Just as neurotransmitters act as bridges in the brain, music is a bridge between people …… overcoming intolerance, cultural bias, and even disability. United in this universal language, MUSIC THERAPY serves as a positive outlet to effect change and growth.
For more about the art and science of music therapy (what it is and what it’s not), please see this expanded discussion.
Sessions are typically held in your home but are available at my private studio. All clients must first receive an assessment to determine if music therapy is an appropriate and beneficial option. I recommend that treatment sessions take place at a minimum of once per week. There is the opportunity to meet more (or less) frequently and can be discussed on a case by case basis.
I offer small (2-4) and large (5-8) group sessions as well as social skills groups. The social skills groups always include at least one typical peer who models appropriate social skills through behaviors, reactions, answers, etc. Groups are currently offered in Brentwood, Lebanon, and Murfreesboro, TN but I am open to adding new locations.
Musical Bridges offers consultations to parents, schools, and classroom aides. I create original songs and materials tailored to the needs of each person. Using augmentative devices, adaptation of equipment, and various teaching strategies, I develop techniques that will lead to successful inclusion.
I spend two 30-45 min sessions with your loved one where I interact with them musically while noting their strengths and needs across multiple domains. I also utilize any contacts you provide (teachers, therapists, your own input) to gain more insight into how I can work best with them. After the assessment is completed, you will receive the complete assessment report and suggested goals. We will then discuss if music therapy will be beneficial and if so, whether to pursue group or individual music therapy.
Who are the typical clients?
Music therapists work with nearly every population. You can find them working with children in schools, the mentally ill, the elderly with Alzheimer’s and dementia, a hospital, a Rehabilitation Center for substance abuse or a physical Rehabilitation Center, the mentally challenged, terminally ill, with persons with learning disabilities, those who are abused, developmentally delayed, or traumatically brain injured, in prisons, with persons suffering from eating disorders, and lastly with those who do not suffer from a clinical diagnosis. At Musical Bridges, we work predominantly with children and adults with autism and other developmental disorders as well as down’s syndrome and physical challenges.
How long has the field of music therapy been around?
The field of music therapy began in the late 1940′s, as individuals interested in using music for healing benefits began to share their theories and ideas. In the years that followed, research was conducted about the effects of music therapy and educational programs were begun at colleges and universities around the country. The American Music Therapy Association was formed in 1950 as an organization that would set the requirements for music therapy academic curricula, accredit academic and clinical training programs, and serve as the professional organization for music therapists. AMTA’s mission is “To advance public awareness of the benefits of music therapy and increase access to quality music therapy services in a rapidly changing world” (AMTA, 1998).
What kind of goals do music therapists address?
Music therapists work towards specific non-musical goals. These could include a number of things, depending on the particular needs of each individual. Examples include: socialization, improved academic skills, increased fine/gross motor skills, increased self-esteem, improved communication skills, decreased inappropriate behavior, increased attention span, language concepts, eye contact, strengthening social and leisure skills, reality orientation, pain management and stress reduction/relaxation techniques, independent living, leadership skills, creative expression, and many others.
What does a typical music therapy session entail?
Music therapy sessions generally start with some type of welcome song or activity. The individual is then engaged through musical responses. We use both instrument and vocal work to encourage changes that are non-musical in nature. These could include, but are not limited to, music improvisation, songwriting, vocalization with singing, lyric discussion, movement, and more. You are given feedback on work done after every session and offered homework assignments to do at home to further progress. Data is collected during each session.
How long is a session?
Weekly sessions can be 30, 45 or 60 minutes each time. Very young children can start with 30 minute weekly therapy, and then move onto 45 or 60 minute sessions. Hour long sessions are preferred in order to not rush the therapy process and provide excellent care. Social groups are typically 45-60 minutes in length.
How much is the tuition?
Click on the registration form to see the current fee structure.
If I start music therapy and later decide to quit, could I have the option to withdraw at anytime?
If you decide that you do not want to continue music therapy, all that is required is that you give a two-week advance notice from the day you would like to withdraw.
I have two children and was wondering if I could include my other child in the music therapy sessions?
One person is charged at the regular rate and all additional siblings receive a 20% discount.
What time are you usually available?
We do music therapy sessions in the mornings, all day Thursday and Friday, and on Saturdays. If you are interested in signing up for music therapy, please contact us for any open time slots.
Can you come to my home?
Yes, music therapy sessions can be in your home or our private studio.
Do I need any music skills or lessons in order to have music therapy?
Absolutely not! Clients do not have to be musicians to participate in or benefit from music therapy. The subtle and wonderful thing about music therapy is that, in actuality, every musical experience can be adapted to meet a broad spectrum of client needs. All humans are intrinsically musical. Don’t allow your “feelings” of inadequacy in music ability keep you from attempting music based therapy.
Is music therapy reimbursable through my insurance?
Unfortunately in Tennessee music therapy is not covered by insurance.
Do I need an order from my doctor?
No. Because music therapy is not reimbursed in Tennessee you do not need a referral from your doctor.