Music is powerful. It can evoke strong emotions, inspire people to dance, and bring back memories of the past. There are many ways that music therapy can help children who have a special need. Parents interested in having their child try music therapy should seek out a licensed music therapist.
Music therapy is an evidence based use of music interventions in order to assist a child with accomplishing specific goals. People who are licensed music therapists are part of an established health profession.
The music therapist and the child he or she is working with will use this therapeutic relationship to help with physical, emotional, cognitive, or social skills that the child needs some help developing. Music therapy is much more than just playing around with musical instruments, or singing silly songs.
If you child has special needs, it is entirely possible that his or her Individualized Education Plan (IEP), may include the need for music therapy. It can help non-verbal children to communicate, and children with low motor skill to be motivated to work on movement and strengthening their muscles.
Children who experience high levels of anxiety, or who have been through emotional trauma can find their mood lifted by music therapy. Kids who are on the autism spectrum may be able to pick up some social skills through a music therapy program.
Parents who are interested in having their child see a music therapist need to find one that is licensed. To get a degree in music therapy, a person must take courses in anatomy, psychology, neurology, and more. This is in addition to classes on music theory and the mastery of at least one musical instrument. They are also required to do at least 1,200 hours of clinical training. When all this is done, the potential music therapist must pass the national Certification Board for Music Therapists licensure process.
If you want to locate a music therapist for your child, it is a good idea to start with the American Music Therapy Association website. The website holds a lot of easy to read information about what music therapy is, and what it can do for your child. You can send an email to findMT@musictherapy.org in order to receive a list of qualified music therapists who are located near where you live.
Now might be a good time to check over your child’s IEP, and see if music therapy is included in it. Does your child’s school use a licensed music therapist? The school’s music teacher is, no doubt, an excellent teacher. He or she probably is extremely talented, and has a deep love for music. It is unlikely that this teacher has also taken the required courses that a licensed music therapist would have to take, though.
Find out if your child has received music therapy at school before, and who it was with. Perhaps now is the time for your child’s school district to hire a licensed music therapist who can do music therapy correctly with special needs students. Everyone can benefit from the services of a good music therapist!
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