Our MT-BC colleague Marcia Humpal has so many stories to tell about making music when she was a kid, about studying and teaching music, and then about being inspired to return to college to become a music therapist. In this AMTA-Pro podcast, Marcia tells us of some of her career adventures in music therapy for young children on a staff at a county early childhood center, in private practice, as an intern supervisor, as a consultant, as a practicum supervisor, as an author and guest lecturer, and, most importantly, as a music therapist who enjoys seeing a youngster’s eyes light up when they are able to make music. Marcia also talks about the value of being deeply involved in the American Music Therapy Association, and she shares some thoughts about moving forward on a productive path that is beneficial to MT-BC professionals, students, and interns as well as individuals who can benefit from music therapy services.
Note: in addition to listening to Marcia’s interesting podcast, you will want to look at her collection of pictures of music education, music therapy, and music therapists over the years.

AMTA.Pro » Podcast
AMTA.Pro » Podcast
Marcia Humpal: Music Therapist for Young Children

Marcia Humpal: Music Therapy With Young Children
AMTA-Pro Podcast ~~ August 2022

Young Marcia not thrilled about an upcoming piano performance.

Marcia playing in the band at Interlochen in 1965.

Marcia touring throughout Europe with the School Band of America between high school and college.

Marcia says, “As a music teacher, I established a beginning guitar course for small groups of children. Small guitars were provided by the school for those who were selected through a lottery system.”

Marcia writes, “When setting up our early childhood music room, having a schedule and allowing choices were our  prime considerations.”

Marcia focused her clinical work providing music therapy services to young children and their families, modeling interacting and communicating through musical play.

This is a glimpse of Marcia directing performances of her Sing and Sign and adapted Bell Choirs at Cleveland City Hall and people shopping at a local mall.

Marcia Humpal has shared music with many youngsters over many years.

In the 1990’s, the Cuyahoga Board of Developmental Disabilities Music Therapy staff and interns created Music R Us concerts for the sites in which they worked as well as for the great Cleveland community.

2009 AMTA Conference = teamwork from AMTA staff Cindy Smith and Al Bumanis and volunteers Marcia Humpal and Barbara Reuer.

Kalani honored by AMTA VP Marcia Humpal.

Authors Present session at the 2019 AMTA Conference.

Cleveland State University Music Therapy faculty and friends at an AMTA conference.

Marcia Humpal writes, “AMTA advocates, clinicians, educators, researchers, leaders, authors, presenters, leaders…so much talent, history, and countless years of dedicated service to music therapy sitting around this table!”

Release of second edition of the Kern & Humpal book.

Marcia Humpal writes, “One of the best part of AMTA conferences is connecting with music therapy friends from around the country. This photo is from the 2013 AMTA Conference in Jacksonville.”

This is a snapshot of just some of the music therapists who gathered for the World Congress of Music Therapy in Krems, Austria.

This is a photograph at a GLR Conference of Marcia Humpal with Patty Console, Gayle Burdick, and the Gallaghers.

Marcia writes, “I enjoy applying early childhood principles as a Nana. This is a picture of me with to two of my grandchildren.”

Marcia Humpal Publications   *Indicates refereed. All others invited.

Humpal, M. (2021). Coda [Video]. Imagine 12(1). www.imagine.musictherapy.biz

Kern, P. & Humpal, M. (2021). Early childhood music therapy and autism spectrum disorder: Supporting young children and their families [Webinar series]. Music Therapy Consulting.

Kern, P. & Humpal, M. (Eds.). (2019, 2nd edition). Early Childhood Music Therapy and Autism Spectrum Disorder: Supporting Children and Their Families. London and Philadelphia: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Humpal, M. (2019) 10 tips for understanding and incorporating purposeful play with young children. Imagine 9(1).

Humpal. M. (2018). Early childhood music therapy. In A. Knight, B. LaGasse, & A.Clair (Eds.) Music Therapy: An Introduction to the Profession. Silver Spring, MD: AMTA.

Humpal, M. (2017). The culture of disabilities. In A. Whitehead-Pleaux & X. Tan (Eds.) Cultural Intersection in Music Therapy: Music, Health, and the Person. Dallas, TX: Barcelona Publishers.

Humpal, M. (2015). Music therapy with developmental issues in early childhood. In B. Wheeler (Ed.) Music Therapy Handbook. New York, NY: Guilford Publications, Inc.

*Kern, P., Rivera, N.R., Chandler, A., & Humpal, M. (2013) Music therapy services for individuals with autism spectrum disorder: A survey of clinical practices and training needs. Journal of Music Therapy, 50(4), 274-303.

Humpal, M., Kaplan, R., Furman, A. (2013). Music Therapy in Early Childhood: Meaningful Music from Infancy to Kindergarten. AMTA E-course. Silver Spring, MD: AMTA

Kern, P. & Humpal, M. (Eds.). (2012). Early Childhood Music Therapy and Autism Spectrum Disorders: Developing Potential in Young Children and Their Families. London and Philadelphia: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Humpal, M. (2009). A community music program for parents and children with and without special needs. In Kerchner, J. & Abril, C. (Eds.). Musical Experience in Our Lives: Things We Learn and Meanings We Make. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers (Co- published with MENC: The National Association for Music Education).

*Register, D. & Humpal, M. (2007). Using musical transitions in early childhood classrooms: Three case examples. Music Therapy Perspectives, 23(1), 25-31.

Humpal, M. & Colwell, C. (Eds.). (2006). Effective Clinical Practice in Music Therapy: Early Childhood and School Age Educational Settings. Silver Spring, MD: AMTA.

*Humpal, M. & Wolf, J. (2004-2005). Music in the inclusive environment. In K. Freibers (Ed.) Annual Editions: Educating Exceptional Children, (pp. 24-27). Guilford, CN: McGraw Hill. Humpal, M. (2004). Reflections on Orff music therapy. Voices: A World Forum for Music Therapy (online). www.voices.no/discussions/discm29_01.html

*Humpal, M. & Wolf, J. (2003). Music in the inclusive environment. Young Children, 58(2). 103- 107.

Humpal, M. (2002). Music therapy for learners in an early childhood community interagency setting, in B. Wilson (Ed) Models of Music Therapy Interventions in School Settings (pp. 389-428). Silver Spring, MD: AMTA.

*Humpal, M. (2001). Music therapy and the young child. Early Childhood Connections, 7(2), 9-15.

*Humpal, M. (2001). Annotated bibliography of music therapy articles related to young children: From music therapy journals (1990-2000). Early Childhood Connections, 7(2), 16-17.

Humpal, M. & Davis, R. (2000). Music & Wellness: Music therapy and the young child. Health Windows (online). www.healthwindows.org/

Humpal, M. (2000). Song repertoire of young children. Triad, April, 2000. 29.

*Humpal, M. (1998). Information sharing: Song repertoire of young children. Music Therapy Perspectives, 16(1). 37-42.

Humpal, M. (1996). Models of music therapy intervention in school settings: from institution to inclusion. Triad, November, 1996). 81.

*Humpal, M. & Dimmick, J. (1995). Special learners in the music classroom. Music Educators Journal, 81(5). 21-23.

Humpal, M. (1995). Parenting children with special needs. Lamp of Delta Zeta. 4-5. Humpal, M. & Dimmick, J. (1994). Music Therapy Assessment and Evaluations Checklist. Cleveland, OH: Cuyahoga County Board of MR/DD.

Humpal, M. & Dimmick, J. (1993). Music at William Patrick Day Early Childhood Center. Triad, May-June, 1993. 17-18.

*Humpal, M. (1991). The effects of an integrated early childhood music program on social interaction among children with handicaps and their typical peers. Journal of Music Therapy, 28(3), 161-177.

Humpal, M. & Dimmick, J. (1990). Together As Friends [Instructional Video]. Cleveland, OH: Cuyahoga County Board of MR/DD.

Humpal, M. (1990). Experiencing the arts – a close-up look at a unique Ohio Arts Council residency program. Triad, 63(2). 13-14.

*Humpal, M. (1990). Early intervention: The implications for music therapy. Music Therapy Perspectives, 8. 30-35.

Humpal, M. & Dimmick, J. (1989). A Musical Bridge: A Guide to Mainstreaming. Cleveland, OH: Cuyahoga County Board of MR/DD.

Humpal, M. & Prange, P. (1988). The role of music therapists in the teaming process: A survey. The Voice of the Lakes, 23(3). 5 – 8.

Humpal, M. (1987). Music therapy – the joy of music for all. Triad, 54(3). 28-29.

Humpal, M. & Dimmick, J. (1987). Standardized Procedures for Assessment and Evaluation for CCBMR/DD Music Specialists. Cleveland, OH: Cuyahoga County Board of MR/DD.

About our AMTA-Pro Speaker

Marcia Earl Humpal, M.Ed., MT-BC received her bachelors in music education at Baldwin-Wallace College in 1970, her equivalency degree in music therapy at Cleveland Music Therapy Consortium in 1980, her M.Ed in special education at Cleveland State University, and did postgraduate study at Cleveland State University (early intervention), at Ashland University (education of children with autism), and at Ohio University (music therapy).

Marcia was a general music school teacher, a private flute instructor, a music therapy consultant with a number of agencies, and a music therapy intern supervisor. She was an MT-BC at Cuyahoga County Board of Developmental Disabilities from 1986 to 2009, and she maintained a private music therapy practice from 2009 to 2017, contracting services to many agencies in the Cleveland, Ohio area, including being part of the music therapy team for the Toddler Rock project at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. She is now an adjunct faculty member in the music therapy department of Cleveland State University.

Marcia has made scholarly presentations to dozens of national and regional associations and organizations, has been a guest lecturer at a number of colleges and universities, has published in many journals and publications, and has co-authored two books, authored several book chapters. She has received grants from several organizations.

Marcia has been active in professional service over many decades in organizations such as the National Music Therapy Association, the Ohio Music Education Association, the National Education Association, and the International Society on Early Intervention. She has been on editorial boards of imagine (Early Childhood Music Therapy online magazine), the Early Childhood Newsletter, Early Childhood Connections, and Music Therapy Perspectives. She has been very active in the American Music Therapy Association over many decades, serving on several national committees, task forces, editorial boards, and on the board of directors. Marcia was national council coordinator and she was national vice-president of AMTA. Among awards and recognition for her service to so many local, state, regional, and national projects is her being awarded the 2013 Lifetime Achievement Award from her colleagues at the American Music Therapy Association.

Marcia also has been active in her community as a Disability Awareness Program volunteer in the Cleveland area schools, as a performer and volunteer with Very Special Arts, as musician and active member of Olmsted Community Church, and as a Meals on Wheels volunteer.