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.


Music Therapy in Community Music Schools

AMTA-Pro Podcast November, 2013

Podcast Speakers: Eve Montague, MS, MT-BC, Ronna Kaplan, MS, MT-BC
and Maria Batista-Hancock, MS, MT-BC

Podcast Moderator: Cathy Knoll, MA, MT-BC

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Eve Montague, Ronna Kaplan, and Maria Battista-Hancock

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South Shore Conservatory

Eve Montague, MS, MT-BC

Core Philosophy of the South Shore Conservatory Music Therapy Department

Music is the great equalizer. It is available to every person, no matter the ability or age. It is a creative tool that can be manipulated to meet the needs of every individual. Music is engaging and motivating and encourages socialization, communication, and self-expression. In music therapy at SSC, it is not a matter of “can it be done?” it is simply a matter of “how will it be done?”

Music therapy is an established health profession that uses music to address the physical, emotional, cognitive, social, and communication needs of individuals of all ages. The inherent structure of music provides a safe and inviting environment in which individuals may explore, participate, or simply relax. Music therapy interventions can be designed to improve communication, manage stress and reduce pain, express ideas and feelings, promote physical rehabilitation, enhance memory, and promote wellness. For additional information contact Eve Montague at 781-934-2731, ext 20.

More info at South Shore Conservatory website –

Services are Offered by the Conservatory’s Music Therapy Department

The Conservatory’s Music Therapy Department provides individual therapy sessions, small group therapy sessions and creative ensembles, and modified/adapted lessons in voice, piano, percussion, guitar, and other instruments.  The music therapy department serves children through adults with special needs, including, but not limited to, those on the autism spectrum, those with developmental disabilities, learning disabilities, physical challenges, and those with Alzheimer’s.  Goals can be established to work within the interdisciplinary framework of IEPs and ISPs. A board certified music therapist, prior to the start of sessions to determine best treatment and goals, assesses each individual.

Move and Groove Music Therapy Group for children on the autism spectrum and those with developmental delays.

SSC Community Voices is a choral opportunity for individuals 16 and over with developmental delays.

Music Therapy and Wellness: Through creative partnerships with social service agencies, SSC is able to support the mental, emotional, and physical health of some of our community’s more fragile members. Providing music opportunities tailored to specific need, SSC partnerships offer avenues for self-expression, provide inspiration and hope, focus on wellness and healing, and build important life skills and community. Programs include:
> Music Appreciation and Enrichment
> Music Therapy services from Early Intervention through Hospice and Bereavement Support
> Community and Therapeutic Drum Circles
> Specialized ensemble participation and performance including SSC Community Voices and Woman Song

Partner Organizations include ARC of Greater Plymouth, ARC of Massachusetts, ARC of the South Shore, Crossroads for Kids, New England Villages, Newfield House, Renaissance Gardens @ Linden Ponds, South Shore Elder Services, South Shore Hospital, and South Shore YMCA.

South Shore Conservatory Music Therapy Faculty

Emily Browder Melville, MM, MT-BC
Gita Brown, MM, MT-BC
Eve Montague, MS, MT-BC
Kari O’Briant, MT-BC
Mariza Neiada, MT-BC

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The Music Settlement

Ronna Kaplan, MA, MT-BC

Music Therapy at The Music Settlement

Established in 1966, our Music Therapy program has been a pioneer in helping people with special needs. Within the context of therapeutic relationships, The Music Settlement’s board-certified music therapists systematically and prescriptively use music-based interventions to impact the lives of children and adults facing a wide range of life’s challenges through building on the foundations of their unique gifts and abilities, developing or strengthening interpersonal connections, reaching individualized goals and improving the quality of their lives.

More info at The Music Settlement website

Community Agencies Partnering with The Music Settlement’s Music Therapy Department

Area agencies that partner with the The Music Settlement’s music therapy department for services include the Alzheimer’s Association Greater Cleveland Chapter, Beachwood Board of Education, Cleveland Clinic Arts & Medicine Institute, Cleveland Clinic Center for Autism, Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital for Rehabilitation, Cleveland Clinic Department of Palliative Medicine, Cleveland Clinic Home Care Services, Division of Hospice of The Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland Sight Center, Cleveland Municipal School District, Connections Maternal Mental Health Clinic, Euclid Board of Education, Fairview Park Board of Education, FIT (Friendship In Teams) Camp, Merrick House, Ravenna Board of Education, Richmond Heights Schools, Salvation Army Harbor Light Complex, Salvation Army West Park Corps, Shaker Heights Board of Education, St. Augustine Manor, United Cerebral Palsy Association, Western Reserve Speech and Language Partners, Young Audiences of Northeast Ohio Art is Education.

NOTE: Check out this link for “A Thousand Words”, a film about autism created by one of our very own Music Settlement families!

Music Therapy Staff at The Music Settlement

Patricia Console, MT-BC
Patricia Eden, MT-BC, Neurologic Music Therapist
Melissa Edsall, MT-BC
Leslie Green, MT-BC
Jessica Janaitis, MM, MT-BC
Ronna Kaplan, MA, MT-BC   Neurologic Music Therapist
Lori Lundeen Smith, MS, MT-BC   Neurologic Music Therapist
Emily Newcomer, MT-BC
Carol Olszewski, MA, MT-BC
Yu-Ching Ruby Chen, MT-BC
Joan Sparks, Administrative Assistant

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Hochstein School of Music and Dance

Harold & Joan Feinbloom Music Therapy & Expressive Arts Program

This program is supported, in part, by the B. Thomas Golisano Foundation,
the Gannett Foundation, the Polisseni Foundation, and Christ Episcopal Church of Pittsford.

Maria Batista-Hancock, LCAT, MT-BC

Music Therapy at the Hochstein School of Music and Dance

Music Therapy is a well-established and researched healthcare profession offering therapeutic music interventions that address the physical, emotional, cognitive, communication, and social needs of individuals of all ages. Music Therapy improves the quality of life for persons who are well and meets the needs of children and adults with disabilities, disorders, illnesses, or learning differences. For more than 30 years, Hochstein’s Music Therapy Department has continued to impact the lives of our clients through the appeal and rhythms of music as a therapeutic tool. Our therapists are board certified, or working toward certification, and many have additional training in neurologic music therapy and performance wellness. Music Therapy interventions are designed to: promote wellness, relieve stress, alleviate pain, express feelings, enhance memory, develop academic skills, improve communication, promote physical rehabilitation, and improve social development.

More info at the Hochstein School of Music & Dance website

Community Partners with the Hochstein Music Therapy Program

We are honored to include the following among our community partners: Adult Day Programs, ARC of Monroe County, Baird Nursing Home, Cerebral Palsy Association of NYS, Chili Senior Center, CDS Monarch, Crest Manor Nursing Home, Crimson Ridge Senior Living Center, Depaul (Halstead Square), Episcopal SeniorLife Community, The Gables, Grand Vie Senior Living Center, Greater Rochester Area Partnership for the Elderly (GRAPE), Group Homes, Happiness House, Heather Heights of Pittsford, Inc., Heritage Christian Services, Lifespan, Lifetime Assistance, Lifetime Care, Mary Cariola Children’s Center, Monroe Community Hospital, Nazareth College, NYS Office of Children & Family Services, Northfield Enrichment Senior Center, Pieters Family Life Center, Pittsford Central School District, Unity Health Care, University of Rochester, Upstate New York Families for Effective Autism Treatment (UNYFEAT), urbanPLAY Innovative OT – PLLC, Warrior Salute at CDS Monarch, Webster Senior Center, Wedgewood Nursing Home.

Music Therapy Services at the Hochstein Music Therapy Program

Individual Assessments: Music therapy assessments and evaluation reports are available for non-enrolled individuals requiring or requesting a formal music therapy evaluation. Please contact the Music Therapy Department for information regarding schedules and fees.

Individual Sessions: Weekly, one-on-one 30-minute sessions are scheduled and include initial assessment, individualized treatment plan, progress reports, and recommendations/referrals. Sessions are designed and tailored to the needs, goals, and interests of the individual student. All individual sessions are arranged by appointment with the Dean’s Office.

Group Sessions: Weekly or bi-weekly 60-minute sessions conducted at Hochstein or offsite at group homes, nursing homes, day rehabilitation centers, schools, senior centers, and many other sites throughout the Greater Rochester Area. Group sessions are created to address the needs, goals, and interests of the participants.

Senior Citizen Choruses: Hochstein’s choral directors are trained to develop or renew a chorus program in local senior centers through weekly 60-minute rehearsals. Performance opportunities are available throughout the year.

Senior Citizen Handbell Choirs: Weekly 60-minute rehearsals prepare for a variety of performance opportunities. Hochstein can provide a Director as well as a two-octave set of handbells for interested local senior centers.

MusicARTS Club: Open up new avenues of creativity and friendship while engaging in the visual and performing arts. Students will explore and participate in creating art as well as have extensive hands-on musical experiences such as guided drumming and other activities. Our friends and volunteers from the University of Rochester’s  No Jackets Required (NJR) Club will again participate and collaborate with the therapists and students. Program showcase on last day of session is open to friends and families.

Jam Session: From drums to boomwhackers, join this active group and have a blast making music! Jam Session will conclude with a public performance.

Young Musicians: Young Musicians will explore your child’s creative spirit through rhythm, movement, and instrument playing.

In Unison: A melodic blend of voices to create unforgettable sounds through new and familiar songs selected from a variety of musical styles.

Songwriter Session: A unique musical outlet for those gifted in singing, creative writing, and poetry with an opportunity to present final compositions in a recital.

Creative Ensemble: From duets to chamber ensembles, the students in this class will explore the art of making music together with the opportunity to showcase their talents.

Musical Theatre: An exciting hands-on approach to Musical Theatre engaging participants in music-making, choreography, blocking, and set design, all in preparation for a performance.

Expressive Arts Classes: Classes will include use of Hochstein’s state-of-the-art computer Music Lab, drum circles, hands-on art creation, and self-expressive music-making, as well as creative dance for wellness.

Music Therapy Staff at the Hochstein Music Therapy Program

Maria Battista-Hancock, LCAT, MT-BC
Kimberly Best, MT-BC
Joe Kostecki, MT-BC  Neurologic Music Therapist
Sarah Kliman, MT-BC
Melinda Kurowski, MA, MT-BC
Adrienne Meyer, MA, MT-BC
Kristen Muldoon, MT-BC
Molly Perry-Pow, MT-BC  Neurologic Music Therapist
Taylor Smith, MT-BC
Sam Snyder, MT-BC

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 Information about AMTA-Pro Podcast Speakers

Eve Montague, MS, MT-BC, is Director of Creative Arts Therapies, Chair of SSC’s Music Therapy Department, and a member of the voice faculty. She received a degree in music education from the University of Western Ontario, her music therapy equivalency from Western Michigan University, and her Masters of Science in Management from Emmanuel College.

Eve is a board certified music therapist, working for over 25 years with both children and adults in educational and vocational settings implementing a diverse range of programs. She is skilled in instrument adaptation and modification, as well as adapted technology and access.  She is the Director/Conductor of SSC Community Voices, a performance ensemble serving individuals with developmental disabilities.  Eve is a trained facilitator in the Remo healthRhythms® drum protocol and a certified Music Together® teacher.

Eve is the President for the New England Region of the American Music Therapy Association and also serves as the Internship Committee representative for the Region. She has supervised and trained music therapy interns for the past 12 years. Eve is an experienced staff trainer and presents extensively throughout the state, regionally and nationally, to music educators, music therapists, parents, and other human service professionals. She is also a guest lecturer at Berklee College of Music.

Ronna Kaplan,  MM, MT-BC, The Music Settlement’s Center for Music Therapy Chair since 2004, has been a music therapist in Cleveland since 1988, serving clients ranging from premature infants to adults through the age of 103 years with varied disabilities and levels of functioning.  She has conducted research on the effect of music on premature infants in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the Cleveland Clinic and on music therapy program goals and outcomes for clients with autism spectrum diagnoses at The Music Settlement.  Her special interests are young children and individuals with diagnoses on the autism spectrum, language delays and/or problems in the area of social skills, as well as teen parents or those with mental illness. She has supervised many music therapy interns at The Music Settlement and was instrumental in developing the department’s Outcomes-Based Measurement tool and program.  She served as Interim Co-Executive Director of The Music Settlement and as Acting Director of the Performing Arts Department/Music School for several months in 2007. Ronna also taught Music Therapy Practicum and Adapted Percussion classes part-time at Baldwin-Wallace College for 14 years.

Ronna completed Neurologic Music Therapy training from the Robert F. Unkefer Academy of Neurologic Music Therapy at Colorado State University’s Center for Biologic Medical Research in Music. Ronna earned a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from the Mandel Center for Nonprofit Organizations at Case Western Reserve University, an MA in special education from Kent State University, and a B. Mus. in music therapy and music education from Michigan State University. She also earned certificates in Orff Level I and DIRR/FloortimeTM Basic Course.

Having published articles and book chapters, guest lectured at several colleges and universities, and presented nationally and internationally, Ronna has also held positions in state, regional, and national music therapy organizations. Presently serving as Past President of the American Music Therapy Association, Ronna also chairs the AMTA’s Diversity Task Force. She co-chaired AMTA’s Autism Think Tank/Task Force from 2008-09 and Early Childhood Music Therapy Network from its inception in 1994 until 2006. She has recently started writing a column on music therapy for the Huffington Post was honored with the Association of Ohio Music Therapists Past Presidents’ Club Award in 2011, the AMTA Professional Practice Award in 2003 and the Great Lakes Region of the National Association for Music Therapy’s Service Award in 1997.

Maria Battista-Hancock,  LCAT, MT-BC, the Music Therapy Department Chair & Internship Director at the Harold & Joan Feinbloom Music Therapy & Expressive Arts Program of the Hochstein School of Music and Dance, joined the Hochstein faculty in 2008. She completed her Music Therapy training at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA, and has additional studies in Italy for music history, harmony & theory with emphasis on voice also received from the Conservatorio di Musica “U. Giordano” in Foggia and from the D.A.M.S. “Art, Music & Drama” at the University of Bologna. Italian music teaching staff at Nazareth College. Additional early childhood music training workshop from Donna Brink Fox, Director of Early Childhood Music Program at Eastman School of Music. Owns private practice and business, “Villa Musicale”. Among others, Maria uses audio-biographies, improvisation, storytelling and songwriting techniques in clinical settings. Find out more on my website:

Creative arts therapist, singer-songwriter is a native of sunny-Italian San Nicandro Garganico. Maria resides now in Upstate New York working at Hochstein School of Music & Dance as Music Therapy & Expressive Arts Department Chair. Her original single ‘INVISIBLE’ is now available on iTunes – Dave McKay:keyboard & arrangement; Carl Albrecht: drums; Gary Lunn: Bass; Mark Baldwin:Guitars. Maria was recently selected TOP 10 Solo/Duet Finalist in Nashville, TN Best Of The Blessed. Her original songs “Invisible” and “Through Your Eyes” got national attention and she was selected among the TOP 10 Indie Artists at Spirit West Coast in Monterey, CA. Maria also made the finals at Kingdom Bound Christian Music Festival at Darien Lake, NY in August.

Maria has studied voice, opera, history of music, piano and composition at the Italian Conservatory of Musica di Rodi-Foggia. She grew up singing solos, back-up vocals and leading worship with her sisters and other musicians in Italy and has been writing songs ever since. When asked ‘Why did you move to the US?’ she answers without hesitation “For love! I met and fell in love with my husband Joe in Bologna where I attended DAMS at the university. ” Soon after their Italian honeymoon, they settled back in the US where she completed her training as a Licensed Creative Arts Therapist.