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Do you have questions about Music Therapy? Are you wondering if Music Therapy would benefit your family member? We offer an initial consultation to help illustrate how Music Therapy can benefit you.


At the request of a parent or a school district representative, the IEP committee may request a music therapy assessment for a particular student. The assessment must be administered by a board-certified music therapist (MT-BC) and the process (records review, interviews, observation, MT assessment, report preparation) usually takes 4-6 hours. The purpose of the music therapy assessment is to determine whether music therapy is necessary for the student to benefit from his/her education. This is decided by looking at whether or not music provides the student with a significant motivation and/or a significant assist in participating in his or her educational program. A comprehensive music therapy assessment will include a music therapy evaluation that has been designed to address the specific goals and objectives of the student in question, and an observation in the classroom so that a comparison can be made. A student may "enjoy" music, but perform no better in a music therapy structure than he or she does in a regular classroom. A student may readily participate and successfully complete functional tasks in music therapy, but the goals achieved must be listed in the IEP. Again, a related service like music therapy is provided ONLY when it has been shown to be necessary for the student to benefit from his or her educational program.


We work in public schools, private schools, and special education programs providing individual and group music therapy sessions and enrichment. Music therapy is an effective form of treatment for children (and adults) of all ages. Specifically, for school age children, we have worked with children in preschool programs starting at age 3 all the way up through age 21. Southwestern Music Therapy LLC has provided services to students with every educational diagnosis currently listed on the Individualized Education Plan (IEP).


Music now plays an increasing role in several disparate areas. Music therapy appears to affect physiological phenomen such as blood pressure, heart beat, respiration, and mydriasis as well as emotional aspects such as mood and feelings. It is used in the rehabilitation of patients with dementia, Parkinson’s disease, fibromyalgia, stroke, aphasia and visual rehabilitation.


First introduced in 1950, music therapy is increasingly being used to help nursing home residents cope with the grief that comes with losing much of their independence and physical strength as well as to improve memory, movement and calm. For people with Parkinson’s disease or movement disorders, making or listening to music can improve gait, balance, range of motion and coordination. For people with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, music can unlock memories and improve communication. 

In hospice and palliative care, music therapists use methods such as song writing, improvisation, guided imagery and music, lyric analysis, singing, instrument playing and music therapy relaxation techniques to treat the many needs of patients and families receiving care. Needs often treated by music therapists in end-of-life care include the social (e.g. isolation, loneliness, boredom), emotional (e.g. depression, anxiety, anger, fear, frustration), cognitive (e.g. neurological impairments, disorientation, confusion), physical (e.g. pain, shortness of breath) and spiritual (e.g. lack of spiritual connection, need for spiritually-based rituals).

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