*Disclaimer: I’m not in this group shot of AMTAS because I had to leave the reception early…sorry!*
So it’s time for another shameless music therapy plug!
One of the coolest things about the music therapy program here at Nazareth is the mini-conference that we put on each year! Every spring we invite MT-BC’s (Board Certified Music Therapists) from the area to come to Nazareth and give workshops in an all-day event hosted by the AMTAS (American Music Therapy Association Students) Nazareth chapter! The best part about this program is that not only is it free to Nazareth students, it is also free to prospective students who may come to Nazareth in the future. This is an incredible opportunity for you to come and get some real world experience and better understand what music therapy really is before coming to school for it!
This was actually my first year every going to mini so I thought I would share some of my experiences! (With selfies sprinkled throughout.)
The first session I went to was hosted by a Nazareth grad who is now an MT-BC working in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. I didn’t even know music therapy could be used with this population! She explained lots of techniques they use including the layering of auditory, tactile, vestibular, and visual stimulation to help get the baby used to living outside the womb! So cool! She also described a device that has a sensor in a pacifier and uses music as positive reinforcement to condition their sucking reflex! (This is technically not Music Therapy, but it was designed by MT-BC’s so it’s still awesome!)
The second session I attended was taught by our very own Dr. Massicot, who teaches piano here at Nazareth! This session was all about the use of modal music in music therapy and helped us to better understand what chords to choose in order improvise in certain modes…this is really difficult to explain through text so you’re all just gonna have to trust me that it was really cool, and maybe if you come to mini-conference next year you can find out for yourself! 😉
The last session I went to was about co-treating music therapy with speech language pathology! It was taught by one of our speech professors and I personally thought this was the most interesting session I attended. We talked about techniques that can be used for song selection in this setting, as well as how to determine whether a speech client would be eligible for music therapy. (For example, someone with fluent aphasia isn’t necessarily a good candidate for music therapy, while someone with non-fluent, or Broca’s, aphasia is!)
I know that was a lot of clinical terminology but that’s exactly the point I wanted to make; many of the terms I used in this blog were completely foreign to me prior to mini-conference. I learned so much at this event and I’m so proud to come from a school that provides me with such incredible opportunities!