Music Therapy in Action

Music Therapy – What is it?

Anyone who has listened to music can understand the many calming, motivating, and uplifting benefits the sounds can have.  But did you know that music can help teach?  When a trained music therapist puts together the right instruments and words to create a music session, that music can help children learn different (typically non-musical) skills – social, verbal, motor, etc. – in a positive environment.  Studies have shown that this method of teaching is especially effective with the special needs population.  Perhaps it is because the brain responds to music differently.

To see a non-verbal child actually vocalize along to a song is to experience the magic this type of therapy can accomplish.  Even children who typically cannot follow instructions or sit and attend can display their potential to do so during a music session.  And the beauty of it all is that the children learn while enjoying themselves. Teachers are then able to carry these skills over to the everyday work they do in the classroom.

Dear Board Members of Kate’s Voice,

music-therapy-in-actionMy name is Michelle Foard and my son, Jimmy is in the LINC program at Wolfswamp Road Elementary in Longmeadow, MA.  Last school year, they  received a grant from Kate’s Voice and had Michael Williams-Russell (Rusty) come work with them every other week.  My son is rather involved, his primary diagnosis is Alfi’s Syndrome (a partial deletion of his 9th chromosome) and his secondary are autism and severe apraxia of speech. Needless to say, he has to overcome a number of obstacles and music has been an incredible motivator and teacher for him.  I wanted to thank your organization for the incredible gift you gave Jimmy and the other children in these programs.  He LOVED every session, verbalized along with the songs, danced with the other kids, even learned how to sit patiently until his turn (not his strong suit, believe me).  I heard from his aide that all of the children loved music therapy and looked forward to it each time.  He has gained so much (even becoming more verbal) from the experience your grant has given him and I am incredibly grateful.  I am attaching a picture of Jimmy and Rusty and again, thank you all!

Sincerely

Michelle Foard
Longmeadow, MA

For more complete information on music therapy and how it is used in a variety of settings, please refer to www.musictherapy.org.