Music Therapy is an allied health profession in which music is used within a therapeutic relationship to address physical, psychological, cognitive, and social needs of individuals. After assessing the strengths and needs of each client, the qualified music therapist provides the indicated treatment including creating, singing, moving to, and/or listening to music. Through musical involvement in the therapeutic context, the client’s abilities are strengthened and transferred to other areas of his or her life. Music therapy also provides avenues for communication that can be helpful to those who find it difficult to express themselves in words. Research in the music therapy profession supports the effectiveness of music therapy in many areas such as facilitating movement and overall physical rehabilitation, motivating people to cope with treatment, providing emotional support for clients and their families, and providing an outlet for the expression of feelings.
A Career in Music Therapy offers challenge, opportunity, and distinctive rewards to those interested in working with people of all ages with various disabilities. Music therapists are employed in many different settings including general and psychiatric hospitals, community mental health agencies, rehabilitation centers, day care facilities, nursing homes, schools and private practice. Music therapists provide services for adults & children with psychiatric disorders, mental retardation and developmental disabilities, speech and hearing impairments, physical disabilities, and neurological impairments, among others. Music therapists are usually members of an interdisciplinary team who support the goals and objectives for each client within the context of the music therapy setting.
My current music therapy work is centered around increased quality of life via hospice and palliative care music therapy practice. I also work extensively with at-risk youth programs and in community music therapy settings/applications, as well as in practice with adults with developmental disabilities and dementia/Alzheimer’s. My personal interests lie in rhythm-based music therapy, thus the development of Music Therapy drumming with 3 of my music therapy colleagues. I find further satisfaction in teaching courses and offering clinical supervision through Western Michigan University’s acclaimed music therapy program.
Music Therapy Drumming
For thousands of years, drummers and percussionists from various cultures have provided the rhythms that ground and support the songs, dances, and music of their communities. Through study and practice, the power of drumming is still available to anyone who is ready to take the journey. The Music Therapist is in a unique position to utilize the therapeutic potential of drumming traditions to help clients create positive change. Music Therapy Drumming (MTD) provides the means to access and develop this potential.
MTD includes live instruction, resources, and support for all Music Therapists, regardless of prior training or experience playing and/or using percussion instruments and rhythms in performance or clinical settings.
MTD is a curriculum that includes percussion and rhythm skills that are designed to increase the capacity for a Music Therapist to effectively use drums, percussion instruments, traditional rhythms, and percussion-based music experiences within the music therapy setting.
The Music Therapy Drumming curriculum is designed and taught by music therapists who are professional percussionists with years of experience in music performance and clinical settings.
Visit Music Therapy Drumming for a schedule of upcoming trainings in your region.