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

Robert Groene: A Winding Road to Music Therapy

Our colleague Robert Groene eventually ended up as a professor of Music Therapy at UMKC, but his long and winding musical road all started when he picked out the riff for “Louie Louie” on the piano when his piano teacher preferred he play “Happy Hoptoads” for a recital. In this AMTA-Pro podcast, Robert tells of his adventures as he played in rock bands, got drafted, taught guitar to at-risk adolescents as a Conscientious Objector, started and quit college, then played in more bands and at coffeehouses. All of this before he had even heard of music therapy! Tune in to this AMTA-Pro podcast where Dr. Robert Groene, a recipient of the AMTA Lifetime Achievement Award, tells many anecdotes about his interesting career as a musician and as a music therapist.

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Adonia Calhoun Coates: Introducing AMTA’s CEO

This AMTA-Pro podcast features a conversation with AMTA’s new Chief Executive Officer, Adonia Calhoun Coates, CAE, CMP. After talking briefly about her previous professional experience, Adonia tells the podcast listeners about her enthusiasm for joining the AMTA team and working with the dedicated community of music therapists. She shares stories about her hearing of the AMTA CEO job opportunity and about her personal long-term connection with music therapy through a family member. Adonia talks about some ideas, immediate projects, and future plans for advancing AMTA’s mission and goals as well as for  heightening awareness, increasing collaboration, and a strengthening commitment to expanding the reach of music therapy. You can also see this conversation in video on the AMTA YouTube channel –

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Marilyn Sandness: Music Therapy Visionary

When in 7th grade, our colleague and AMTA Honorary Life Member Marilyn Sandness was recruited to play saxophone in a dance band. With the money made on those gigs, she purchased more instruments and lessons, embarking on a long, illustrious career in music and music therapy. In this AMTA-Pro podcast, Marilyn shares engaging stories about her professional journey including her college studies beginning with a degree from Eastman in 1958, her clinical work in some challenging situations in the early 1960s and through major transformation in the nature of services in the 1970s, her twenty-four rewarding years as a music therapy professor, and her thirty-four intense years as a volunteer with NAMT and AMTA, helping shape the nature of education and training music therapists today.

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AMTA’s Federal Advocacy for Music Therapy

AMTA’s Federal Advocacy for Music Therapy
AMTA-Pro Podcast ~ February 2021
Judy Simpson, MT-BC and Rebecca Preddie

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In this AMTA-Pro podcast, AMTA’s Government Relations Director Judy Simpson and AMTA’s Senior Federal Policy and Programs Analyst Rebecca Preddie overview the extensive work of AMTA’s Government Relations team on behalf of the profession of music therapy and the people music therapists serve. This discussion provides the information and contacts music therapists need to get involved in helping raise the impact and efficacy of music therapy services and to increase access to music therapy in the areas of health, education, veteran services, and the health care work force. The AMTA-Pro podcast notes provide a wealth of advocacy resources for music therapists.

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MT Advocacy: Make a Real Impact

In reality, a music therapist’s daily work is the strongest advocacy tool for spreading the word about music therapy. At the same time, every MT-BC can more purposefully contribute to the critical task of increasing the strength and frequency of advocacy efforts for our profession in keeping with the mission of AMTA – “to advance public awareness of the benefits of music therapy and increase access to quality music therapy services in a rapidly changing world.” In this AMTA-Pro podcast, our colleague Leslie Henry, co-chair of AMTA’s Professional Advocacy group, shares a wealth of helpful advocacy guidelines based on her own experiences as well as some years of working with MT-BCs around the country. Leslie leads listeners through an exploration of their own networks and how to tend these networks, approaches that can be used based on the timing of the idea you are advocating for, and time-tested tips on being persuasive in different situations. The text notes for this AMTA-Pro podcast include valuable guidelines and resources,

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Resiliency & Staff Care Program Model

Because MT-BCs respond to unit needs throughout the hospital system, Houston Methodist recognizes music therapy as an opportunity to provide opportunities for self-care, wellness support, and resilience training for the staff. In this AMTA-Pro podcast, three of our music therapy colleagues, Jennifer Townsend, Virginia Gray, and Audrey Zybura, share details about their program that provides both wellness support and staff care for their fellow healthcare professionals at Houston Methodist. They talk about various aspects of the programs, including boundaries, collaboration, costs, and specific unit needs, and the music therapy team shares a number of creativity-focused and education-focused opportunities that have proven helpful to staff. The music therapists also discuss points music therapists would want to consider when establishing a resiliency and staff care program. The podcast notes include resources, details about their program, and an outline for establishing similar support in other agencies.

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Music Industry Issues for Music Therapists

Why should music therapists be concerned with music industry issues? How are songwriters compensated for their work? What are fair use principles? How do fair use, copyrights, streaming, and other music industry issues impact music therapy?  In this AMTA-Pro podcast, Dr. Tracy Richardson shares her knowledge and insights about these issues based on extensive personal experience in both music therapy and the music industry. In addition to being a serious singer/songwriter who has opened for major artists and has 3 original CDs to her credit, Tracy has over 30 years of experience as a music therapy clinician and educator. Her podcast provides some food for thought and helpful resources for all music therapists.

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Self-Care Toolbox for MT Students

Stress and anxiety impact music therapy students daily. Not only freshmen, but also upperclass and graduate students often struggle with schedules, new surroundings, finances, grades, expectations by self and others, over commitment, and other pressures. In this AMTA-Pro podcast, Dr. Jennifer Fiore shares her work with music therapy students in learning to recognize the need for self-care and to develop their own self-care toolbox with personalized strategies addressing their unique situation and needs. Dr. Fiore provides many helpful tips and resources for music therapy professors and music therapy students, including suggestions for coping with particular stresses related to COVID-19.

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MT & Speaking Voice in Parkinson’s Disease

Speaking voice is an area of concern for many individuals with Parkinson’s Disease since being able to communicate makes a real difference in our daily quality of life. People with PD often experience softer voices and find it harder to talk to others, potentially leading to self-isolation and to lose of desire to attempt communicating with people around them. In this AMTA-Pro podcast, our MT-BC colleague Sarah Swann Solberg discusses some of these issues and overviews her research about the impact of music therapy interventions on improving the speaking voice of individuals with PD. Susan recommends continued research because of the potential significance on the quality of lives of over 10 million people worldwide currently diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease.

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Innovations in Military Music Therapy Practice

Since 2014, board certified music therapists have provided services to active duty service members and veterans with traumatic brain injury (TBI) and post-traumatic stress (PTSD) in military medical facilities across the United States through Creative Forces®: NEA Military Healing Arts Network. In this AMTA-Pro podcast, speakers Sara Kass, Rebecca Vaudreuil, Donna Betts, and Danielle Kalseth describe music therapy practice and research as well as effective and innovative interventions. They also share stories illustrating ways in which Creative Forces supports clinic-to-community programming to further support healing, motivate recovery, and promote reintegration, making a marked impact in the lives of individuals and their families. The text notes of this AMTA-Pro podcast include links to a number of related resources and intriguing media links.

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MT in Forensic Psychiatric Setting

Our MT-BC colleagues Tara Brinkman and Steven Franco work at Department of State Hospitals- Atascadero , a maximum security forensic hospital. Some of the patients are awaiting court proceedings, and some were determined not guilty by reason of insanity, but a large portion of the population have been convicted of violent felonies. Both therapists work with various groups and individuals in the forensic hospital, but in this podcast they talk about a centralized group called REACH-Music. Tara and Steven overview the structure of the REACH-Music group and some of the research behind their work with these clients. They describe numerous music therapy interventions which address goal areas such as emotional intelligence, mental health management, grounding, and social skills. This AMTA-Pro podcast also includes information about the importance of building a therapeutic alliance and other safety tips.

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Group MT in Pediatric Medical Setting

Children admitted to a hospital are asked to live in an unfamiliar place, to put their trust in strangers, to commit to irregular schedules, and to endure frequent medical tests, check-ups, and procedures. Hospitals are unique settings where music therapy groups give kids a chance to enjoy making music, to cope with change, to boost environmental control, to broaden social networks, to express concerns and emotions, and to build resiliency. In this AMTA-Pro podcast, four MT-BCs at the Children’s Minnesota Hospitals – the 7th largest pediatric health system in US – talk about their music therapy groups for medical/surgical patients, for hematology/oncology patients, and for patents with diabetes, eating disorders, and other issues. Our colleagues Erinn Frees, Alicia Little, Sarah Woolever, and Kayla Shafer talk about their work – along with the other MT-BCs and MT interns at Children’s MN – facilitating groups for all ages including focus groups for tweens, teens, parents, siblings, and even staff. The text section of this AMTA-Pro podcast includes a wealth of resources, references, and other information about successfully including group music therapy alongside individual therapy in the pediatric medical setting.

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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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