AMTA.Pro - Online Symposium - For Music Therapists, By Music Therapists

Can Music Support Emotion Regulation Development?

Emotion Regulation (ER) development occurs in early childhood. Music therapists encounter many clinical populations who experience barriers to healthy ER development for a variety of reasons. In this AMTA-Pro podcast, our music therapy colleague Dr. Kimberly Sena Moore reports results from a mixed methods feasibility study exploring the impact of a music‐based intervention on ER development. She discusses the implications of the research findings in relation to how they influence clinical music therapy practice and future research.

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Funding MT Through Philanthropy

Philanthropy is a viable funding source for music therapy programs. Based on their experience in successfully funding and expanding a pediatric hospital-based music therapy program through philanthropy, Dr. Annie Heiderscheit and Jana Koppula are particularly aware of the importance of understanding the complex aspects of donor relationships in order to build and maintain a philanthropically funded program. Their conversation in this AMTA-Pro podcast includes examples of building successful donor relationships, gathering and presenting data to donors, and addressing donor expectations. The experience and expertise of these two MT colleagues is helpful to music therapists who are considering pursuing philanthropy as a source for funding music therapy services in any clinical setting.

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Forensic Psychiatric Hospital: Music Therapy & Art Therapy

The unique goals of court-committed adults are being addressed in interesting ways by the team of music therapist Alison Etter and art therapist Jaimie Peterson in a forensic psychiatric hospital. In this AMTA-Pro podcast, Etter and Peterson describe a number of creative collaborative interventions giving their clients opportunities to be involved in a performances, exhibits, broadcasts, and publications. The wide-ranging and diverse therapeutic experiences are designed to increase personal connections,  reduce stigma, encourage interaction and communication, facilitate leadership and cooperation, and provide opportunities for creative expression through music and art.

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MT Goals from Musical Perspective

Music in therapy can be viewed not as a “tool” to be “used,” but as a guiding principle informing an underlying ethos and driving the work in its entirety. In this understanding, music therapy is construed through an artistic lens, in which the value of the work is understood according to such criteria as experiential depth, narrative coherence, personal meaningfulness, and expressive beauty. In this way of understanding the work, the client’s musical constitution, as well as the music therapist’s clinical musicianship, extend themselves to all corners of the therapy. This understanding extends to the targeted outcomes of the work (goals) as well. In this AMTA-Pro podcast, a group of experienced music therapy professionals – Brian Abrams, Kathleen Murphy, Noah Potvin, and Laurel Young – converse about several informed perspectives on ways in which both music therapy processes and goals can be understood in terms of music.


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MT for Adults with IDD – Part 2

The second podcast in this two-part “MT for Adults with IDD” AMTA-Pro series features an insightful conversation with experienced music therapy clinician, Ellen Rayfield. After 30+ years providing services as an MT-BC and LPC in psychiatric facilities, Ellen switched gears and began working with adults with intellectual developmental disabilities (IDD). Right away, she became aware of the need for more music therapy resources, especially since intellectual and developmental disabilities begin in childhood and last for many decades, requiring life-long intervention and support. In this podcast, Ellen shares her observations about adults with IDD, describes the agency’s services and her music therapy program, and talks about her interactions with and responses of clients in group and individual music therapy. The first podcast in this two-part “MT for Adults with IDD” AMTA-Pro series features speakers Jennifer Jones, Nicole Rivera, and Todd Schwartzberg who talk about the history of music therapy with adults with IDD, provide an overview of available publications and research, and summarize two descriptive studies as well case examples. All speakers emphasize the need for more music therapy research, forums, publications, and profession-wide emphasis on the unique needs of the expanding population of adults with IDD.

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MT for Adults with IDD – Part 1

Note: some users in some browsers are reporting problems when attempting to listen to the audio for this podcast.  If you see “File not found” after clicking the play button, please use this link to listen instead:–Schwartzberg.mp3

The growing need for music therapy services for adults with IDD (intellectual and developmental disabilities), including ASD (autism spectrum disorder), calls for more research, forums, and publications in our field. In this AMTA-Pro podcast, the first of a 2-part series, speakers Jennifer Jones, Nicole Rivera, and Todd Schwartzberg encourage a renewed profession-wide emphasis on the unique needs of this expanding population. They begin that process by talking briefly about the history of music therapy with these adults and providing an overview of available publications and research. They summarize two descriptive studies and talk through case examples with a special focus on post‐high school transitions, adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder, and the unique needs of older adults with IDD. Part 2 of the “MT for Adults with IDD” AMTA-Pro podcast series features an insightful conversation with clinician Ellen Rayfield talking about her work with this population.

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MT Practicum: Intergenerational Choirs

Music therapy students and graduate teaching assistants from Drury University and University of Missouri-Kansas City gathered around the AMTA-Pro podcast microphone to describe their work with an intergenerational choir as a practicum experience. They describe various aspects of the music therapy treatment process, including assessment, session planning, data collection, co-treatment, supervision, and various interventions. Dr. Melita Belgrave, UMKC music therapy professor, joins in the conversation to provide information about the background and overall structure of the intergenerational choir practicum experience. The text section of this AMTA-Pro podcast includes brief bios of the speakers as well as a valuable 24-page resource packet compiled by Dr. Belgrave, Dr. Alice-Ann Darrow, and Dr. Natalie Wlodarczyk, professors who implement intergeneration choir practicums in their university programs at UMKC, Drury University, and Florida State University.

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ASD Resources for Music Therapists

In this AMTA-Pro podcast, our music therapy colleague, Marcia Humpal, chair of AMTA’s Strategic Priority on Music Therapy and ASD, tells us about the wealth of resources related to music therapy and Autism Spectrum Disorder available on the AMTA website. Humpal provides an overview of the fact sheets, research, annotated bibliographies, reports, toolkits, brochures, journal articles, training modules, and other resources resulting from time and expertise of the Strategic Priority group and many AMTA members working with individuals with ASD. Some resources are specifically for families and caregivers, some for professionals in related fields, and many for music therapists.

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Counseling Micro-Skills for MTs

Music is such a powerful tool in the therapeutic process, a tool that can be intertwined with basic counseling skills to make interpersonal connections while building rapport, empathy and respect. In this AMTA-Pro podcast, our music therapy colleague, Dr. Lori Gooding, discusses research, clinical examples, and application of specific counseling micro-skills such as non-verbal interaction, authentic phrases, supportive statements, minimal encouragers, humor, and more. She talks about ways in which music therapists can use the techniques to impact the therapeutic conversation, diffuse difficult situations, and help reframe words and perspectives in individual, group, and family therapy.

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Heart Transplant for MT-BC

Sometimes music therapists hone their clinical skills and expertise through first hand experience. That was, indeed, the case for board certified music therapist Beth Beathard who had only worked 6 months as an MT-BC before she had the first of many serious life-threatening heart events. After 18 difficult months, her medical condition deteriorated to the point of needing a heart transplant. In this compelling AMTA-Pro podcast, Beth describes the physical and emotional challenges she experienced during those months, shares some thoughts about her “self-directed” music therapy, and talks about her personal and professional growth in the seven years since her transplant. Beth’s rocky journey led her from depression, fear and anxiety into a place of hope and sincere gratitude, along with a solid contract for music therapy in a senior living center and the exciting possibility of hospital-based music therapy services for transplant patients. Beth’s AMTA-Pro podcast is being released the week of February 14 – National Donor Day – in celebration of her successful heart transplant and re-entry into her career as a music therapist.

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MT for Survivors of Violence

Violence against women is recognized by the World Health Organization as a serious and pervasive healthcare issue internationally. In this AMTA-Pro podcast, Dr. Sandi Curtis, music therapy professor and clinician, talks about the need for music therapists to be well informed about the latest in research and clinical strategies for helping victims recover and thrive. She talks about her clinical work over the years and challenges her colleagues to get involved. The prevalence of the problem indicates all music therapists will most likely encounter survivors of violence in their daily work. Awareness of the challenges and knowledge of evidence-based approaches equips music therapists to provide provide sensitive, evidence based, effective services for women survivors of violence.

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Therapeutic Musicians & Music Therapists

Both music therapists and therapeutic musicians provide services in health care settings. In 2015, there were 5,000 hospitals with over 1 million beds, 16,000 nursing homes with over 2 million beds, and 5,800 hospices serving 1 million people. Given there are currently about 6,500 board certified music therapists and 1,200 therapeutic musicians, and because we all want music available to all these people, it is advisable to recognize the continuum of services and to collaborate rather than compete to increase overall access. This AMTA-Pro podcast features representatives from both groups – Dee Sweeney of the National Standards Board for Therapeutic Musicians (NSBTM) and Judy Simpson of the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) – conversing about the similarities and differences between music therapy and therapeutic music, and encouraging their colleagues to learn more about both professions. Judy and Dee offer solid recommendations for educating colleagues, administrators, and clients about both music therapy and therapeutic music, and for facilitating conflict resolution when misunderstandings arise. They also discuss specific ways to foster cooperation and explore possible collaborative projects between the two professions.

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AMTA-Pro is filled to the brim with a wealth of podcasts featuring your colleagues sharing reflections, strategies, insider tips, and details about every aspect of music therapy. Don't miss even one of several dozen AMTA-Pro podcasts on a wide variety of topics, including:
+ Music therapy programs, clinical applications, and research in a broad range of areas such as Alzheimer's disease, eating disorders, stroke rehab, inpatient mental health, early childhood behavior issues, medical settings, wellness, NICU, wound care, hospice, and more.
+ Job Solutions, reimbursement, networking, and thriving in any economy.
+ Interviews with music therapy professionals, students, and interns, as well as special guests.
+ Podcasts capturing special AMTA events, conference speakers, and memorial tributes.


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