Learning and Developing via Relational Musical-Play Experiences in Music Therapy

frank and cimdy4frank and cimdy4frank and cimdy4williampic-2Hi all,

This blog post includes some immediate and brief thoughts regarding the clinical rationale of back-and-forth relational music making between client and therapist. In addition, it touches on the importance of  contextualizing music therapy experiences within a relationship-based framework, as well as emphasizing  the significance of affective-based interactions.

Several moths ago I presented to a group of parents, therapists, and educators. During the talk I displayed a clinical video excerpt illustrating a continuous flow of co-active and related music making between the therapist and client. During the interaction, the client, an autistic 8 year-old boy who displays difficulty in sustaining self-regulation and with challenges in the area of sustained engagement and interaction, sits in his chair and musically participates with the therapist via social referencing and non-verbal, but tonal, vocalizations. The therapist, improvising a short melodic phrase  (playing guitar and voice) pauses the music following the 3rd beat of the phrase. The client, referencing the therapist via a glance and a bewildered look on his face, follows the musical pause by glancing in the direction of the therapist on the 4th beat of the phrase. The therapist interprets the glance as a musical response and “turns the phrase around,”pausing after the 3rd beat. The client again references the therapist with a glance, but this time offers a smile accompanied by a tonal vocalization. The therapist alters the musical phrase by increasing tempo and articulating the melody vocally in a staccato manner. The client […]

Throw-back-Sunday: Listening as a Component of Relationship in Music Therapy

Hi all,

As I begin to prepare my course material for the upcoming seamster, I came across this terrific blog post on the DMHmusictherapy.com site authored by my friend and colleague, Dr. Nancy Jackson. It’s a terrific post that I always work into my clinical improvisation course each seamster. So…there’s no better time then the present for a  throw-back-blog post dealing with the art of listening in relationship-based music therapy. 

LISTENING AS A COMPONENT OF RELATIONSHIP IN MUSIC THERAPY

In mental health practicum the other week, a student asked how it is that one decides what to focus on in a session when the clients have so many different problems and limitations that need attention.  My reply to him was something like this:

“At every moment, your clients are telling you what they need. But this means that you must truly be listening. Listening doesn’t just happen with your ears, though. You also listen with your eyes, with your intuition, with your e-countertransferences, really with your whole being. You must listen deeply to what the client says, to what he doesn’t say, to what he tells you through behaviors, through affect, through interactions, and through the way he musically expresses himself and communicates. It is when you deeply listen to the client and respond to what he is telling you from moment to moment that you are truly engaged in therapy with the client.”

As an educator, I often struggle with how to teach undergraduate students about the less concrete but undoubtedly integral aspects of music therapy practice – things such as authenticity, trust, being “in the moment”, etc. Listening, […]

35 CMTE Credits: Expand your Assessment Skills within a Developmental Relationship-based Music Therapy Model

swirl-piano.jpgHi all,

Expand your Assessment Skills within a Developmental Relationship-based Music Therapy Model. The last IMCAP-ND course of 2014 is being held at Radford University on October 24th & 25th. EARLY BIRD Registration ends on SEPTEMBER 15TH!

Are you interested in learning more about assessment & treatment while working within a  Developmental Relationship-based Music Therapy Model? Here’s an opportunity to do so while earning 35 CMTE Credits! Click HERE for more information!

You will expand your knowledge on how to:

  • Create and assess musical experiences that target specific musical areas that deal with
    • A) Social-Emotional Skills
    • B) Cognitive and Perceptual Skills
    • C) Preferences, Efficiency, Arousal Levels
  • Observe, assess, and score target responses within the context of relational musical-play
  • Working in the method of Clinical Improvisation
  • Incorporate Dr. Bruscia’s clinical techniques
  • Create and write individualized goals and treatment plans
  • Communicate assessment findings to caregivers and healthcare professionals
  • Gain a deeper understanding of your musical tendencies and habitual responses as a music therapist

You will observe, play, music, interact, role play, and participate in practicing scoring and documenting actual music therapy session videos & case studies.

By registering for this course you will receive complimentry Developmental, Relationship-based Music Therapy course materials (as  well an opportunity for discounted supervision/coaching): 

  • Receive 50% off IMCAP-based reflective supervision for up to 5 supervision sessions following this course
  • A 10-pack of IMCAP-ND Rating Scale Booklets
  • IMCAP-ND Work Guide that includes:
  1. Musical resources for the music therapist
  2. Quality of Interaction rating chart
  3. Procedural work phase check list
  4. Clinical sample of IMCAP-ND rating scores (Scales I, II, & III)
  5. IMCAP-ND goal bank
  6. Clinical techniques guidelines (procedural phases and music domain areas)

The IMCAP-ND 2-day CMTE course with post-course assignments provides an opportunity to earn 35 CMTE Credits.

EARLY BIRD (thru September 15): $349

Regular Registration: $398

Click HERE to register!

IMCAP-ND NOTES:

1)  Here’s a […]

Following the Client’s Lead. What is it? What isn’t it? And Why do it?

Holding HandsHi folks,

An ongoing key topic when discussing behavioral and developmental approaches is the concept of following the client’s lead. This is especially relevant within the current trends in the research pertaining to evidence-based practice in regards to interventions with children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Yes, that’s correct, developmental interventions are now being used in the current evidence based research. In addition, even the current behavioral research shows to be using developmental interventions in their treatment protocols, e.g., Denver Model. Thus, the current trends in ASD intervention research appears to be either based on a hybrid approach (implementing behavioral and developmental interventions) or staged developmental interventions.  Unfortunately, most clinicians continue to quote dated research when speaking on evedence-based practice (I will discuss that topic in detail in a future blog post). All of that being said, the topic of client-led interactions, which is at the core of developmental interventions, is extrememly relevant and draws quite a bit of discussion in terms of what it is and isn’t.

Client-led interactions, or better known as following the child’s lead, is at the core of developmental relationship-based ways of working. In music therapy, it may involve the therapist creating musical experiences based on the client’s musical-emotional lead, e.g., musically reflecting their emotional state, creating music around their musical and/or non-musical action, etc.  Some therapists feel that following the client’s lead means to ONLY and ALWAYS follow what the client is doing whereby never implementing any  boundaries or limits- NOT TRUE. Others may say, “follow the client’s lead only when it’s appropriate.” Appropriate? Appropriate to what? The therapist? Finally, some say, you can not and should not follow the client’s […]

Ways of Thinking Musically in Music Therapy

Hi all, this is a throw-back-Sunday blog entry! This entry, written by Dr. Brian Abrams, was originally posted on 2/2/12. Based on the dialogue the developed as a result of my previous blog entry, I feel that this entry is a perfect continuation regarding the topic of “working-in” and “using” music. 

Ways of Thinking Musically in Music Therapy

In November 2011, at the annual conference of the American Music Therapy Association in Atlanta, Georgia, Dr. Kenneth Bruscia, the William W. Sears Distinguished Lecture Series Speaker, delivered an outstanding lecture entitled “Ways of Thinking in Music Therapy,” in which he examined different perspectives on understanding the practices and purposes of music therapy.

Dr. Bruscia, who was the most central mentor in the development of my professional identity as a music therapist, has always inspired others to think deeply about themselves and their work. For me, his guidance always prompted the question: What makes the work of a music therapist special and unique? Or, in other words: What differentiates it from other disciplines and professional practices? … or … How can we “locate” it, conceptually, as a specific construct? This was more than a mere intellectual exercise–it held a certain sense of urgency (at least for me) in understanding and advocating for the non-replicable value of music therapy in serving clients and the public via our modality.

For me, these questions were never adequately answered by considering the procedural components of music therapy alone, as popularly described. For example, it was not merely the use of music in a health promotion process that defined the distinctive essence of music therapy […]

March 18 – March 25th ONLY! — Spring 2014 Discount for IMCAP-ND Products!

imcap-ndHi all,

Developmental Music Health is kicking in Spring 2014 by offering a 15% DISCOUNT  for the next 7 days on all IMCAP-ND products. Beginning today, March 18th 2014, and through March 25th, we are offering a 15% discount on all  IMCAP-ND Clinical Manuals and IMCAP-ND Rating Scale purchases. This offer will ONLY last 7 days (ending March 25th).

To receive your 15% discount, simply click on the link below, choose the product that you would like to order, and then simply enter the promotional discount code: IMCAPDIR

To place your order and to find out more about the IMCAP-ND Manual, please click HERE. 

For international orders, please click HERE.

Also, if you are interested in learning more about how to applying and integrating the IMCAP-ND into your clinical practice, check out out our upcoming IMCAP-ND CMTE courses that will be offered in Maryland, New York, and Virginia! This exciting NEW 2-day course (with post-course assignments) provides music therapists with the opportunity to EARN 35 CMTE credits!

Musically,

John

Spring 2014 Discount for IMCAP-ND Products!

Hi all,

Developmental Music Health is kicking in Spring 2014 by offering a 15% DISCOUNT  for the next 7 days on all IMCAP-ND products. Beginning today, March 18th 2014, and through March 25th, we are offering a 15% discount on all  IMCAP-ND Clinical Manuals and IMCAP-ND Rating Scale purchases. This offer will ONLY last 7 days (ending March 25th).

To receive your 15% discount, simply click on the link below, choose the product that you would like to order, and then simply enter the promotional discount code: IMCAPDIR

To place your order and to find out more about the IMCAP-ND Manual, please click HERE. 

For international orders, please click HERE.

Also, if you are interested in learning more about how to applying and integrating the IMCAP-ND into your clinical practice, check out out our upcoming IMCAP-ND CMTE courses that will be offered in Maryland, New York, and Virginia! This exciting NEW 2-day course (with post-course assignments) provides music therapists with the opportunity to EARN 35 CMTE credits!

Musically,

John

“Using” vs “Working-In” Music in Music Therapy? Huh? Is there a Difference?

toolHi all,

Just jotting down some quick notes/thoughts on a topic that continuously pops up for me as a clinician, supervisor, and educator: the concept of music being used versus music being worked in in therapy. One word treats music as a thing, and the other as a verb. For me, the differences are pretty significant, and are a critical factors in establishing my identify as a  music therapist. The purpose of this post is to flesh out some questions and encourage dialogue. These ideas, thoughts, and questions are by no means something new, and in fact are consistently brought up via social media.

So, as music therapists, why do we play and make music, or create music experiences with clients? Does the musical experience really matter? Is the music more about being some-thing that is sound-based and seeks nothing more but to alter a behavior (i.e. I play this and you do that. If you don’t do that, I keep playing this to make you do that because I want you to do that)? Is the music about the experience occurring between you and the client as a relationship unfolds? And if so, how can the relationship foster health?

Furthermore, is it (music therapy) about using music as a stimulus (i.e. stimulus-response based work)? Or, Is it about working in music and experiencing the things that are unique about it, i.e., aesthetic and relational elements? The “keys” here, I believe, are the words “using” and “working.” Can a music therapist do both, use and work in music at the same time? Is that really possible? Can both paradigms be blended together? Does one cancel out the other? […]

The Mother, the Baby, and the Song (MUSIC) / MÃE, BEBÊ E MÚSICA

youtube linkHi all,

The following post is authored by my good friend and colleague, André Brandalise. Andre is a music therapist residing in Porte Alegre, Brazil. His post is a response regarding a YouTube video that featured a mom singing to her crying baby. This video drew a great deal of attention throughout several media outlets in Brazil including the popular television program, “Fantástico.”

PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS POST IS WRITTEN IN BOTH, ENGLISH AND PORTUGUESE.

In Brazil there is a very popular TV show called “Fantástico.” It made its premiere in August 5th, 1973 and became a show dedicated to the Brazilian family which goes on air every Sunday night. It brings different attractions and, among its purposes, does not have the objective to discuss topics in a very deep level. However, it is considered a serious show conducted by important journalists who cover the main facts of the Brazilian week. Well, on Sunday, November 3rd the show tried to understand the phenomenon illustrated through a youtube video. CLICK HERE TO VIEW VIDEO

In this video the reader will see a mother singing to her baby who reacts to it in a very emotional way. The video became really popular in Brazil and Fantástico decided to discuss the phenomenon. In order to understand it, journalists decided to interview professionals of different areas. It was unbelievable that journalists decided not to interview music or music therapy professionals. The interviewd professionals, who may be excellent professionals in their areas, do not have the obligation to understand phenomena involving music therefore what they said, even though made sense about the video, explained only partially what had happened. The interviewd psychologist, for […]

IMCAP-ND Updates/Announcements!

IMCAPsoft-150x150Hi all,

Since the publication and release and the IMCAP-ND: A Clinical Manual, I have received a variety of emails regarding questions, requests for materials to use in clinical practice, as well as inquiries pertaining to IMCAP:ND training courses. Although I have created an IMCAP-ND Facebook page, I realize that many MTs that are interested in using or learning more about  the IMCAP-ND may not be a part of our Facebook community. Therefore, I thought it might be a good idea to include IMCAP information on this blog.

REQUEST FOR INTAKE FORM & ASSESSMENT/PROGRESS REPORT TEMPLATES

I have been asked by several IMCAP-ND Manual users If I would share the digital files of the IMCAP-ND Intake Form and Assessment/Report templates. Although they are located in the appendix of the manual, it would probably be easiest and more practical to have the electronic versions of the files so you can simply type your responses and reporting directly onto the document. Thus, I’m making those documents available to any IMCAP-ND Manual owners who would like them. if interested email info@dmhmusictherapy.com

REQUESTING ACTUAL CLINICAL SAMPLES OF IMCAP-ND SCORING REPORTS

For those of you working with the IMCAP-ND who would like scoring samples illustrating the use of the of the three rating scales as well as a completed progress/assessment report (PDF versions) please email info@dmhmusictherapy.com (THIS REQUEST WILL TAKE SOME TIME TO FULFILL AS WE ARE REQUIRED RECEIVE CLIENT PERMISSION BEFORE DISTRIBUTING ANY CLINICAL INFORMATION)

INTERESTED IN USING THE IMCAP:ND TO DETERMINE GROUP PLACEMENT

For those of you who are using the IMCAP-ND in clinical practice, has anyone incorporated it into their assessment process in regards to deciding if a client is musical-emotionally “appropriate” for a […]