What Music Therapy Looks Like at Rise
Depending on the setting, a music therapy session will look vastly different. That said, certain components are inherent to a music therapy session. But as a general rule, the format below can be spotted in almost any music therapy session.
Singing the “hello song” helps the children transition to the music therapy space and sets the tone for the session. Typically, I use the same opening song each week to provide familiarity for the children and, after time, can prime them, so they know that music therapy starts when I sing that song.
Music Therapy Interventions
The bulk of the session will consist of the music therapy interventions. I facilitate these experiences to target the children's non-musical goals and objectives. Some interventions include moving to the music (which helps body awareness), intensifying body parts, singing songs (familiar and new to keep things fresh), and exploring different tactile musical instruments such as chimes, drums and shakers. Each music therapy intervention is designed to target a specific therapeutic goal and objective—and to have fun, of course!
The closing is similar to the opening; it is a major transition point that gets the children ready to leave the music therapy space and move on to the next classroom activity. Although the closing and opening are the main transition points, other transitions that happen during a session are key to its success.
A transition generally occurs in between music activities and is meant to help the children move seamlessly through various points in the session. It can include the “clean up” or “listen for your name” when it’s time for a turn playing a particular musical instrument. A classroom favorite is singing “tick-tock like a clock” as they move their bodies side to side like a ticking clock.
Music has so many benefits, and I’m happy to be part of the Rise community and grateful to work with each one of the children.
-Laura Ganguli, MA, MT-BC
Music Therapist, Board Certified