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

Preventive MT in Limited-Resource Communities

Individuals and families in limited-resource communities face real challenges not only in finances but also in opportunity. Insecurity and stress resulting from limitations in food, shelter, health, safety, and other basic needs impact all aspects of a person’s well-being. In this AMTA-Pro podcast, two of our music therapy colleagues, Elizabeth K Schwartz and Dr.Varvara Pasiali, discuss these complex challenges and ways in which music therapists can focus on helping children move away from stress, insecurity, and dysfunction toward trust, belonging, and opportunities. Varvara describes her research and clinical work with high-risk youth in a YWCA afterschool program in North Carolina, and Elizabeth describes her work with children eligible for Head Start services in New York. This AMTA-Pro podcast includes songs and interventions found effective in addressing specific issues these kids face in their daily lives.

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MT in the Community

Music therapy naturally allows individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and autism of all ages to develop necessary skills for integrating into the community and to maximize their quality of life through living, learning, work, and leisure. The speakers in this AMTA-Pro podcast describe three innovative music therapy programs providing unique opportunities for inclusion and meaningful community engagement for individuals with special needs. Dr. Ellary Draper talks about inclusive pop choirs formed in collaboration between high school choral directors and the University of Alabama Music Therapy Program. These choirs, designed specifically to include students with mild, moderate, and severe disabilities alongside their typical peers, perform regularly in the community and serve as practicing sites for undergraduate music therapy and music education students. Our MT colleague Helen Dolas shares information about the Able ARTS Work, founded in 1982, which provides education and life-skills coaching to children, adolescents and adults with developmental disabilities. Professionals use pioneering, evidence-based therapeutic techniques tailored to meet individual needs and goals of participants at the Creative Health and Wellness Clinic and the Mobile Arts program of Able ARTS Work. Music therapist Grant Hales describes his unique ArtBeat Radio program, a potpourri of short podcasts featuring the thoughts, music, and creativity of adults with disabilities and musicians in the greater LA area. The goal of ArtBeat Radio is to explore the myriad ways in which the resident artists of Able ARTS Work can make their unique voices heard by engaging the ever-expanding virtual world.

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MT in Schools: Laws & Court Decisions

Laws passed by the US Congress and Supreme Court decisions ensure quality educational services for students with disabilities. Recently, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and the Supreme Court case, Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District emerged as landmark events significantly impacting special education services. In this AMTA-Pro podcast, Alice-Ann Darrow, Judith Jellison, Mary Adamek overview the recent legislation and court decisions, identify ways to advocate for music therapy services in schools based on the legislative and court actions, and share valuable resources critical for staying informed about updates regarding special education services and music therapy.

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Ethics of Online MT Research

As the nature of research moves toward online resources and methods, music therapists must take time to explore the ethics of online research. Our colleague Nicki Cohen, a member of the AMTA Research Committee, takes time in this AMTA-Pro podcast to share insights and considerations related to ethics and music therapy research. Using specific examples, Nicki discusses basic ethical principles, a brief history of unethical landmark research which resulted in legislation, and the advantages and disadvantages of online research methods. She overviews types of online research methods as well as viable software options for online interview and online surveys. As Nicki says in the podcast, ethics in online music therapy research is simply a matter of “being honest and respectful to the participants and being honest and respectful when reporting the results of your research.” This AMTA-Pro podcast provides practical guidelines for doing just that.

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Moving Forward with MTP

Music Therapy Perspectives, AMTA’s peer reviewed journal speaking to clinical practice, was launched in the 1980’s and is moving forward at a dizzying pace. In this AMTA-Pro podcast, MTP’s incoming Editor-in-Chief, Dr. Laura Beer along with Associate Editors Dr. Jennifer Jones and Dr. Noah Potvin discuss AMTA’s partnership with Oxford University Press, highlighting a variety of avenues for music therapists and the broader audience to access the content of MTP in new and unique ways. The editorial team encourages clinicians, researchers, and even students to write and submit articles. The MTP Mentorship service is available to help MT-BCs craft the beginning of an idea into an article to share with other clinicians. MTP’s new Clinical Portraits section provides a forum for articles about exploratory research, emerging treatment practices and protocols, unique client populations, and new strategies for teaching or supervising students and interns. Listeners of this AMTA-Pro podcast also learn about a variety of online platforms – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube blogs, and virtual issues – designed to increase dissemination of MTP content, encourage interaction with researchers and clinicians, and, ultimately, further the practice of music therapy.

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What IS Mindfulness Anyway?

Mindfulness has become a popular trend in business, education, and health care but is often misunderstood. In this AMTA-Pro podcast, our music therapy colleague Anne Parker takes a look at mindfulness from various perspectives to understand how it can positively impact our practice as music therapists. Anne speaks about mindfulness in this AMTA-Pro podcast, and she was the featured speaker at the Carol Bitcon Memorial Lecture at the 2017 AMTA Conference in St. Louis, Missouri based on her experience as a music therapist for 40 years and as a student and teacher of mindfulness for over 20 years.

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Interprofessional Education & MT

Interprofessional Health Care Education is being implemented in a growing number of universities, allowing students, clinicians, and professors in various health care professions to learn about other areas and to experience collaboration. This AMTA-Pro podcast features two music therapy educators, Dr. Andrew Knight of Colorado State University and Dr. Meganne Masko of Indiana University-Purdue University along with Eric Johnson, MD of University of North Dakota, all three of whom have teamed up with other health care professionals in three different universities. These knowledgeable colleagues discuss the growth of IPE (Interprofessional Education), their experiences and observations over the years, and the possibilities for the future. The text section of this AMTA-Pro podcast includes access to a comprehensive handbook with details about Interprofessional Health Care Education program structure, course curriculum, grants, and research, as well as implications for music therapy practice.

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Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy

This historic photograph of Paul Nordoff and Clive Robbins “musicing” with a young lady captures the spirit and impact of our daily work as music therapists. Music therapy colleagues Dr. Alan Turry and Jacqueline Birnbaum sat down at the AMTA-Pro microphone to explore the history and practice of Nordoff-Robbins music therapy, and to share songs and stories illustrating the music-centered approach to therapy where elements of music, active listening, creativity, flexibility, and interactive music-making are used in the clinical process. Among other things, Alan and Jackie tell of Paul Nordoff’s music therapy with Johnny and with Edward, clinical stories accompanied by historic recordings from Nordoff’s work in the 1950s. This AMTA-Pro podcast begins and ends with Alan and Jackie making music and includes examples of the co-creative partnership of music and therapy, e.g., the therapist’s observations of each individual’s interaction with and response to all the elements of music when developing customized music therapy sessions. The text section of this AMTA-Pro podcast includes additional resources, photographs and other information.

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Single-Session MT in Acute Mental Health

Michael Silverman specializes in music therapy for adults with mental illnesses and substance abuse disorders. In this AMTA-Pro podcast, he talks about single-session music therapy for individuals dealing with complex problems with complicated solutions. Although single-session psychiatric treatment is not ideal under these circumstances, it is a reality more often than not. But progress is evident when Michael uses high-quality, customized live music to develop connections and when he helps individuals remain realistic and focused as they develop solutions and identify resources available to them in the short term and in the community. Illness management and recovery is an established, evidenced-based treatment emphasizing functional management of the disease and promoting recovery. Michael provides a concise and clear overview in this podcast of educational music therapy interventions, research literature, and how to expediently engage patients in treatment in acute care mental health settings.

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DBT-Informed Music Therapy

The speakers in this AMTA-Pro podcast – Abbby Dvorak, Lindsey Landeck, Marie Lesiak, and Deborah Spiegel – have extensive clinical experience working with Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and music therapy. Dialectical Behavior Therapy is an active treatment model building skills in four key areas: mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness. The speakers talk in depth about ways DBT can enhance an MT-BC’s music therapy practice as well as how music therapy may enhance and support DBT skills training in the clinical setting. These experienced MT-BCs demonstrate some clinical interventions in the podcast and discuss research applications for music therapy and Dialectical Behavior Therapy. The text section of this AMTA-Pro podcast includes a detailed list of resources about DBT and music therapy as well as bios of the speakers.

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Unanticipated Findings of MT Pilot Study

Active Music Engagement (AME) is a music-based play intervention designed to address parent and young child cancer treatment-related distress. Positive results from earlier research based on therapist-led interventions led to the next step of translating Active Music Engagement for parent delivery to increase accessibility and sustainability. Music Play Kits were designed for parents to share with their children and enjoy making music together while the music therapist stepped back into a coaching role. Although the pilot study yielded positive results for the children and parents in many areas in this model, one unexpected finding emerged. Parents actually indicated a need for greater support from the music therapist and a preference for therapist-led interventions. Our AMTA-Pro podcast speakers, Sheri Robb and Amanda Henley, discuss the research and clinical practice implications of these findings, and they share details about the continuation of this study with research funded by a $1.4 million National Institutes of Nursing Research grant. This latest research project, involving 15 Board-Certified Music Therapists, 12 Certified Research Associates, and 4 Site-Primary Investigators/Project Managers across three sites, is studying the effect of play interventions, such as active music engagement and storybook programs, on health outcomes in young children ages 3 to 8 undergoing chemotherapy treatment and their parents.

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Florence Tyson: Music Therapy Visionary

Florence Tyson was a trailblazing music therapist who began her work in the 1950s with the Musicians’ Emergency Fund in New York City. Recognizing the need for outpatient treatment for individuals with mental illness, Florence created the Music Rehabilitation Center to provide arts-based community services, thereby decreasing the need for inpatient treatment. In the early 1960s, the agency’s name was changed to the Creative Arts Rehabilitation Center and moved to 51st Street in the theater district on the edge of Times Square. Until the mid-1990s, CARC was a space dedicated solely to providing music, art, dance, drama, and poetry for people with mental illness. In this AMTA-Pro podcast, three of Florence’s colleagues – Ken Aigen, Christopher Bandini, and Jeffrey Friedberg – share compelling stories about their work at the CARC, and about the significant impact of CARC and Florence Tyson on the lives of scores of individuals with mental illness as well as on the staff and community.

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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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