Music Therapy for Adults with I/DD
What is music therapy?
Music Therapy is an established health profession in which music is used within a therapeutic relationship to address physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs of individuals. After assessing the strengths and needs of each individual, the qualified music therapist provides the indicated treatment including creating, singing, moving to, and/or listening to music. Through musical involvement in the therapeutic context, individual's abilities are strengthened and transferred to other areas of their lives. Music therapy also provides avenues for communication that can be helpful to those who find it difficult to express themselves in words. Research in music therapy supports its effectiveness in many areas such as: overall physical rehabilitation and facilitating movement, increasing people's motivation to become engaged in their treatment, providing emotional support for individuals and their families, and providing an outlet for expression of feelings.
Goals of Music Therapy
• Increased attention span
• Reduced depression/anxiety
• Identify and utilize coping skills
• Improved cognitive/academic functioning
• Improved communication skills
• Promote self-esteem and self-expression
• Increased relaxation
• Increased emotional expression
• Improved gross/fine motor skills
• Increased social interaction
Group Music Therapy Sessions
Creative Connections provides group sessions at our office, or in your facility. We provide 45- and 60-minute weekly or bi-weekly sessions in your facility. Each session involves age appropriate music experiences which can improve socialization, increase ability to follow directions, address motor skills, and much more. We match the needs of every individual- regardless of ability.
What does a session look Like?
A music therapy session typically begins with a hello song that acts as a transition into the session. A session may involve singing, instrument play, song writing, song discussion, movement to music, and musical games. Goals may then be addressed in the following ways:
Speech and Communication- Articulation may be addressed through singing. The therapist may leave a word out of a song, and encourage individuals to sing or say the word clearly. Conversation skills may be fostered through song writing and discussion.
Fine and Gross Motor- Using a variety of instruments such as hand drums, and through movement to music, specific motor skills can be addressed.
Academic- Putting personal or academic information to a familiar tune helps with recall.
Social Skills- Music therapy groups allow individuals to practice greetings, turn taking, requesting, self-expression, collaboration, etc.
Behavioral- creating songs or social stories about appropriate behavior.
Emotional- Using songs to teach how to identify emotions and utilize coping skills when feeling overwhelmed.
Self Esteem and Quality of Life- Positive and successful experiences are created through fun and motivating activates.
Why do adults with I/DD respond well to music therapy?
Adults with I/DD do so well in music therapy because it captures attention, is fun and motivating, and creates joy and opportunities for success. Music is a multi-sensory experience that incorporates auditory, visual, kinesthetic, and tactile systems. Music is process in both hemispheres of the brain, and it is non-verbal. This makes it a great tool for those who have difficulty with language to express themselves and connect with others.