Collaboration

Music therapy is an allied healthcare profession.  Music therapists adhere to specific standards including a scope of practice, code of ethics and professional (music and clinical) competencies.  Being that music is processed all over the brain, music therapists are catalysts of an interdisciplinary team’s collaboration.  Music therapists work in partnerships with patients, families and other therapists to achieve a patient’s personal and healthcare goals.  Our program not only allows for individual music therapy treatment sessions, but also sessions where multiple therapists are collaborating together at the same time to strengthen overall treatment progress and generalization. 

Music Therapy Collaborations

Speech Therapy

For a child who has a speech delay, a licensed speech language pathologist will identify certain physical and neurological components with which the child is having difficulty. The speech therapist and music therapist will work together to design music-based interventions to address the specific impairment. This may look like composing a song that incorporates certain syllables that are being targeted and repeated within the song lyrics, certain rhythms that address and cue various motor coordination, and certain note durations to improve breath support.

Physical Therapy

For individuals who have suffered a stroke, it may be hard for the patient to walk at a regular pace for long durations of time. Also for someone with cerebral palsy, it may be difficult to open their hand to grasp a cup. A physical therapist may assist the patient in the physical components of balance, coordination, gait and endurance while at the same time, the music therapist may match the exercise with a regular rhythmic beat as well as other musical cuing for entrainment. By matching the body’s movement with an auditory cue, duration of an exercise increases, perception of fatigue decreases, and movement becomes more fluid and organized.

Occupational Therapy

A child with an Autism Spectrum Disorder may have difficulty with the daily routine of dressing and undressing. An occupational therapist may work with the child to incorporate certain adaptations, such as adding velcro or elastic to clothing to make changing easier. A music therapist may then compose a song with lyrics that include step-by-step directions through mneumonics for how to open and close the velcro on the child’s jacket.  

These are just a few of the many examples of collaboration that having music therapy on a team can provide.  Music therapy interventions unlock potential and create opportunities for enhancing and reinforcing a patient’s treatment goals.    

Every therapeutic modality has their own expertise and when we come together we can form a supportive powerhouse interdisciplinary team that strengthens goal generalization and mastery as well as the potential to decrease treatment need and length for patients.   

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