Music Therapy for Children with Autism

Music Therapy is the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by music therapists. The therapist can assess emotional well-being, physical health, social functioning, communication abilities, and cognitive skills through musical responses; design music sessions for individuals and groups using music improvisation, receptive music listening, song writing, lyric discussion, music and imagery, music performance, and learning through music.

Many additional studies have found that children and adults with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) respond well to music when little else is able to get their attention, which makes music a potential therapeutic tool. It can improve behavior, communication and reduce anxiety. Individuals with ASD show more emotional expression and social engagement during music therapy sessions than in play sessions without music. The malleability of music makes it a medium that can be adapted to meet the needs of each individual. No particular music ability is required and there is not one particular style of music that is more therapeutic than all the rest. All styles of music can be useful in effecting change in the child’s life.

Music therapy sessions can be one on one or in a group. Children typically attend once a week, for about 30, 45 or 60 minutes. The duration of the therapy depends on children’s needs.

1. Assessment: The therapist assesses a child to find out the child’s needs. Because music therapy is often used along with other autism spectrum disorder (ASD) therapies, the therapist might also consult the child’s doctor or other therapists.

2. Goal-Setting: An individualized program is developed based on the child’s needs.

3. Therapeutic Music Experiences: Sessions consist of activities designed to meet the child’s individual needs. These could include songwriting, moving to music, singing, playing instruments, listening to music, working in groups and improvising.

4. Evaluation: The program is regularly evaluated to make sure it is working well.

Adaptive Music Lessons at MCofM

The conservatory provides ongoing music education and enrichment to young musicians with an ASD diagnosis. Students with or without a basic proficiency in an instrument or voice can take private music lessons to develop their musical talent and ability, and to nurture a lifelong love of music. The first step is to schedule an interview with the professor for the desired instrument.

Current instrument offerings taught by specially trained music educators are piano, voice and drums. Each semester concludes with a recital.

Individual Classes of 30, 45 or 60min (depending on the child’s needs)
Mondays from 5:30PM
Tuesdays from 4:00PM
Wednesdays from 5:00PM
Thursdays from 5:30PM
Individual Class Fees:
30mn: $40
45mn: $55
60mn: $70

Group Classes (upon assessment):
Tuesdays from 5:30-6:30PM
starting September 5, 2017.
$40 per child

Adaptive Music Lessons
Tuesdays from 4:00PM
Wednesdays from 5:00PM
30mn:  $35
45mn:  $48
60mn:  $63

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