Music therapists design individualized music interventions to positively impact patients’ cognitive, physical, emotional and social skills, helping them realize their potential in society. Interventions and techniques used to reach therapeutic goals and objectives include songwriting, lyric discussion, music listening, active music making, vocal and instrumental improvisation, multi-sensory experiences and relaxation.
Benefits of Music Therapy
- Music activates multiple areas of the brain that also process functions including language, memory, and motor control.
- Music enables individuals to non-verbally express emotions and connect with others and the structure inherent in music provides a safe container for creative self-expression of thoughts and feelings.
- Musical stimuli can be pleasurable and motivating for most individuals, thereby encouraging purposeful responses and helps to establish roles and expectations of response.
- Music therapy provides opportunities for achievement and mastery by creating a success-oriented environment.
- Music acts as a natural aid to learning and memory.
- Music promotes relaxation, self-regulation and auditory stimulation.
Music Therapy Treatment
Upon admission to Matheny, each patient is assessed by a music therapist to determine if and what type of music therapy is an appropriate course of treatment. Patients are then periodically re-assessed for new goals and objectives throughout their residency. If music therapy is recommended, patients are enrolled in Group MT Sessions, Individual MT Sessions and/or Relaxation Training
Music Leisure Opportunities
Patients have the opportunity to join the Combined Vocal Choir or one of two Adapted MIDI Bell Choirs who perform both at Matheny and at venues throughout the community and state. Additional events hosted by the music therapy department include the annual talent show, individual patient recitals, attendance at outside concerts and theatre presentations, as well as professional musical performances in house.
Music Therapy Internship
As an AMTA approved Clinical Training Program, Matheny offers a six-month internship program beginning either in January or July. Music therapy interns are a member of the interdisciplinary team and have a caseload that includes children and adults, group and individual sessions, with a wide variety of abilities and therapeutic goals. Interns participate in weekly professional development seminars and supervision. The deadline for applications is January 1st for internships beginning in July, and July 1st for internships beginning in January. Qualified applicants will be contacted for an interview and audition.
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