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

Understanding Military Culture

After earning the rank of Captain in the United States Navy and serving for 25 years, Becky Jo Watson retired and earned her MT-BC status. She recently sat down in front of the AMTA-Pro microphone to share her experiences and unique insights in an effort to help her music therapy colleagues understand military culture in order to better serve active duty military members and veterans. In this AMTA-Pro podcast, Becky talks about the pressing need for more music therapy services, and she shares 7 C’s – basic principles for music therapists to consider when developing music therapy services and strategies for contributions to readiness, rehabilitation, recovery, and wellness among America’s military populations, both active duty service members and veterans.

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International Perspectives from MT Students

Dr. Dena Register challenged some of her music therapy students in her Current Trends in Music Therapy class at the University of Kansas to explore music therapy from the international perspective. The resulting topics for their individual projects included, among others, eating disorders from a global perspective, music therapy trends in disaster response, instruments around the world, music therapy and environmental noise in ICU, and development of MT in three Asian countries. The students shared the results of their projects at the 2014 AMTA conference in Louisville, KY. Tune into this AMTA-Pro podcast featuring Fatima Chan, Emilyjane Eichman, Cole Eisenmenger, Bing Li, Katie Martin, Alison Smiley, Rachel Zarich as they overview the conference session touching on diverse topics of interest to music therapy professionals.

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Storytelling in Music Therapy

Throughout history, people have been inherently drawn to telling and listening to stories, and music enhances the experiences. In this AMTA-Pro podcast, Ron Borczon, Director of Music Therapy at California State University Northridge and of the Music Therapy Wellness Clinic, provides some compelling insights about music in storytelling, and shares some experiences in his clinical work. Ron talks about various aspects of the art of storytelling, the symbolic nature of the story, the listening environment, the role of music in the storytelling experience, and the different levels of processing stories with clients in music therapy group and individual sessions. Podcast listeners learn about using stories and myths in music therapy, and hear some thought-provoking stories accompanied by music, percussion, and an enchanting zither.

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Neuroplasticity Model of MT

Why does music therapy work? In this AMTA-Pro podcast, Dr. Elizabeth Stegemoller talks informally to her music therapy colleagues about the neuroplasticity model of music therapy. She discusses the impact of music on critical dopamine production, about the Hebbian Principle, and about the value of the clear signal of music as opposed to noise. Elizabeth discusses practical application of the principles in the neuroplasticity model as used in music therapy for individuals with Parkinson’s. She talks about music’s role in cortical remapping and building alternative pathways that reroute an individual’s control over their movement. Once the alternative pathways are in place, the music therapist fades the musical stimuli, allowing the individual with Parkinson’s to function more independently. The neuroplasticity model of music therapy needs further research, but gives us some insights into that ever-present question, “Why does music therapy work?”

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MT & Adolescents with ASD

Dr. John Carpente takes time in this AMTA-Pro podcast to share some insights gained from his work with teenagers diagnosed with autism at the Rebecca Center for Music Therapy housed at Molloy College in New York. Guided by principles of the DIR Floor Time Model in tandem with Nordoff-Robbins music therapy, John involves the youngsters in music-making experiences – joining together with the band – to foster social-emotional development. In this informal podcast, John, founder and director at the Rebecca Center, talks about the progress made by two adolescent students when actively involved in making music with the music therapist.

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MT & Infant-Directed Singing

Tune into this AMTA-Pro podcast to learn of the research of our music therapy colleague Shannon de l’Etoile related to infant-directed singing and infant self-regulation. In this conversation, recorded at the AMTA conference in November, 2013, Dr. de l’Etoile talks about the universal nature of mothers singing to their infants and the resulting benefits of maintaining attention and leading the infant to a comfortable state of arousal. She discusses her clinical work in this area and the series of studies that led her to focus on the impact of infant-directed singing when either the mother or the infant is at risk and not responding to the interaction, research that has far-reaching implications for music therapy. Shannon also takes time during this podcast to overview the outstanding music therapy program at University of Miami Frost School of Music.

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MT in Early Brain & Child Development

The American Academy of Pediatrics Initiative released in 2013 stems from continued research about the impact of early support and development on prevention of later health issues. The AAP Initiative, intended to transform pediatric practice, focuses on the first 1000 days of life as most critical in brain development. In this AMTA-Pro podcast, music therapist Dr. Becky Wellman talks about the parallels between the AAP Initiative and music therapy practice. She informally shares examples of ways in which music therapists working with children in their first three years often design music therapy interventions and sessions to encourage positive, interactive parenting and to address the five areas emphasized in the AAP Initiative, i.e., reading, rhyming, routine, reward, and relationship.

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MT with Foster Care Youth

Dr. Michael Zanders, an LPC and assistant professor of Music Therapy at Texas Woman’s University, began working with the child welfare system some years ago. Many of his recent publications and presentations focus on music therapy with foster care youth. In this AMTA-Pro podcast, Dr. Zanders talks about his work with children and adolescents in the CPS foster system, and he provides an informal, brief review of his qualitative research examining the personal and musical lives of adolescents with foster care experience. This innovative research certainly has implications for music therapy research, theory, and practice for adolescents in foster care, a promising new field of practice for music therapists.

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The A Cappella Voice

Every music therapist uses their voice in clinical work whether it is humming to an infant in the NICU or adjusting the timbre and intonation of a speaking voice in verbal processing. Because music therapists do not always receive specific vocal training for using the voice as a clinical instrument, Elizabeth Schwartz found it necessary to create some basic, practical tips and techniques for helping music therapy students find and expand their own clinical voice. She shares some examples in this AMTA-Pro podcast, The A Cappella Voice, in hopes of opening a discussion on the importance of helping all music therapists add specific vocal practices, techniques and understandings to their clinical knowledge and repertoire.

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Dr. Olin Parker: The Roots of Music Therapy

After returning from service in WWII, Olin Parker continued his education at University of Kansas, studying with Dr. E. Thayer Gaston and other pioneers in the field of music therapy. In 2014, Dr. Parker is Professor Emeritus of Music and Associate Director Emeritus of the Hugh Hodgson School of Music at University of Georgia. He is still involved in AMTA at age 91, attending and actively participating in regional and national conferences every year. Dr. Parker still teaches some college classes, continuing a career in higher education he started 49 years ago. In this AMTA-Pro podcast, Dr. Parker talks about events in the late 1940’s that resulted in the birth of music therapy as a profession, about his interactions with Dr. E.Thayer Gaston and other pioneers in the field, and about his interesting professional experiences over the past decades. Dr. Parker provides intriguing insights about our profession and amusing anecdotes about music therapy.

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MT in Community Music Schools

Don’t miss this lively conversation between three of our music therapy colleagues, all directors of music therapy programs in community music schools, talking about innovative music therapy programs and services for individuals as well as for social service, medical, and education agencies in their communities. Because there are about one hundred community music schools around the country, and only twenty have music therapy services, possibilities for establishing new music therapy programs abound.  In this AMTA-Pro podcast, Eve Montague shares insights based on her experience of starting up a new music therapy program in the prestigious South Shore Conservatory in Massachusetts. Maria Batista-Hancock talks about the quality services provided by nine music therapists at the Hochstein Music School in Rochester, New York as well as some exciting new initiatives. Ronna Kaplan describes the music therapy program at The Music Settlement in Cleveland, Ohio which started in 1966 under the leadership of Louise Steele, and continues today with twelve music therapists providing innovative services impacting the lives of a number of children and adults facing a wide range of life’s challenges.

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Music Therapy for Older People

This AMTA-Pro podcast, Music Therapy for Older People, begins with our colleague Dr. Anne Lipe sharing an overview of music therapy with older adults, including the history of MT services with this diverse population, the impact of the 1991 hearing before the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging on the growth of music therapy services and research, and the broad range of possibilities for music therapy services across the spectrum for older people living independently in the community, individuals in assisted living and adult day care, and people living in long-term care facilities. The second part of this podcast features the work of Dr. Betsey King and Laurie Keough in a privately funded music therapy demonstration project for individuals living in the community who are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. The project, which has since been replicated, not only resulted in the documentation of, among other things, a decrease in agitation and perseveration of words and phrases as well as an increase in social interaction for the participants, but also confirmed the validity of assessment-based small-group and individual music therapy as a cost-effective service significantly impacting quality of life. This podcast ends with an informal discussion of the exciting possibilities for growth in music therapy services for older people in the community and in long-term care.

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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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