WHAT IS MUSIC THERAPY?
Music Therapy is a research-based practice that offers children and young people a unique medium for personal growth, skill development and the acquisition of educational knowledge.
Most kindergarten and school aged children are motivated by, and easily engaged in, music based activities relevant to their age group and ability levels. Music therapy programs employ music-based activities that are specifically designed to maximise engagement & support students’ individual educational goals. It is the use of music to teach life skills.
WHAT IS A REGISTERED MUSIC THERAPIST- RMT?
An RMT is a university educated therapist that has completed tertiary level qualifications allowing them to register with our professional body- The Australian Music Therapy Association (AMTA). RMTs must complete ongoing professional development requirements with the AMTA in order to ensure best practise within the profession, and for the RMT to be granted ongoing "registration" as a music therapist. We currently have two RMTs at Dandenong Valley working with students from EEP, junior, middle & senior school levels.
HOW DOES IT WORK AT DANDENONG VALLEY?
Students are referred into the program by class or therapy staff when it is felt that a student may gain from receiving music therapy input.
The music therapist works as part of a team in consultation with teachers, parents and other therapy staff.
The music therapist assesses the needs of each individual referred into the program, gains knowledge of their musical preferences, formulates program aims, plans appropriate music experiences for the student, and evaluates progress through both formal and informal means (such as reporting documents, photographs, session notes etc).
The program is most often delivered in an 1:1 setting but may also be provided within a small group setting (when several students may benefit from a similar program).
WHAT NEEDS CAN BE ADDRESSED THROUGH MUSIC THERAPY?
The music therapy program at Dandenong Valley provides students with an individualised therapy service based on goal directed and varied musical activities which aim to achieve development in areas such as:
- communication skills (both verbal, non-verbal & use of augmented communication systems)
- the ability to understand emotions (in themselves & others) and opportunities for self-expression
- social skills & the ability to interact with others (at both verbal & non-verbal levels)
- sensory regulation & (often) the ability to self-calm
- motor skills & body awareness
- educational programming (such as colours, numbers, etc)
WHAT DO THE STUDENTS DO IN MUSIC THERAPY?
Students in the program participate in a variety of music based activities- in keeping with their individual abilities- and may include experiences such as
- listening to live &/or recorded music
- playing instruments
- accessing music technology (such as iPads, switches, computer programs)
- moving and dancing to music
- singing and vocalising
- song creation/ writing
MOST OF ALL WE MAKE SURE MUSIC THERAPY IS A FUN & MOTIVATING WAY FOR STUDENTS TO LEARN & DEVELOP THEIR SKILLS.