WHAT IS MUSIC THERAPY?
Music Therapy is a research-based practice that offers children and young people a unique medium for personal growth, emotional expression, functional skill development, and the acquisition of academic 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 student’s individual educational goals.
It is the use of music to teach life skills.
WHAT IS A REGISTERED MUSIC THERAPIST- RMT?
A RMT is a university educated therapist that has completed tertiary level qualifications allowing them to register with our national 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 be granted annual “registration” to work as a music therapist. We currently have two fulltime RMTs working as part of the therapy team at DV with students from junior, middle and senior school departments.
HOW DOES IT WORK AT DANDENONG VALLEY?
Students are referred into the program by classroom or therapy staff when it is felt that a student may gain from receiving music therapy intervention. The music therapist works as part of a team in consultation with teachers, parents and other therapy staff to ensure that the student’s individual needs are met. The RMT 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, sessions notes, video record keeping, formal Music Therapy assessments etc)
The program is most often delivered in a 1:1 setting but may also be provided within a small group (when several students may benefit from a similar program or have similar needs)
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 does the student do in their music therapy sessions?
Students in the music therapy program participate in a variety of music based activities in keeping with their individual abilities, areas of interest and music preferences. Music therapy sessions may include experiences such as
Music is a highly motivating medium for almost all of our students and we make sure that we use this as a fun, engaging, accessible and individualised way for students to learn and develop their skills at school.