Music Therapy is the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music therapy program. (AMTA, 2005) Music Therapy services support Monarch’s Four Core Goals by providing activities that are motivating, success-oriented, and present concrete, multi-sensory stimulation in a systematic way that is capable of addressing multiple goal areas simultaneously, regardless of age or musical ability.
Music is processed in the frontal, parietal, and temporal lobes of the brain, as well as the cerebellum, creating and connecting neural pathways in both hemispheres of the brain. Research suggests music’s ability to enhance spatial-temporal skills (mathematical reasoning), auditory recognition and discrimination (language processing), pattern recognition, and abstract reasoning skills.
Music Therapy calls a person to identify and express emotional states in new and challenging ways that promote self- regulation, reflection, and creativity. The therapeutic relationship and inherent structure of music provide a safe and predictable, yet flexible, context for students to take risks and perspectives they may not feel confident attempting in other environments. This creates opportunities for learners to take greater ownership of their skills and achievements. Participation in music therapy sessions includes playing instruments, singing, listening, improvising, and composition, each of which are adapted to support objectives in communication and positive social awareness and behaviors. Additionally, music-making and appreciation is a lifelong leisure skill that may transfer to other real-world contexts. Music Therapy activities are continuously adapted to individual needs to promote executive functioning skills such as reflection, creative problem solving, strategizing, and task commitment.
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