American Music Therapy Association
"I am a supporter (and big fan of) the American Music Therapy Association. If I had known more about the field of Music Therapy when I was in college, I might have even become a Music Therapist."
Music Therapy Stories
When I met and heard Jana at AMTA last year (2002) I fell in love with her. Six months later, I took a full time job "rescuing" Mentally Ill and Developmentally Delayed adults from the local state hospital. The grant funds 15 consumers who historically have failed at many other community placements, creating 3 5-consumer households and a partial care on the hospital grounds. This allows discharge into the community.
Naturally, the consumers have many adjustments moving from a long hospital ward stay to a 5 consumer household. I use "Butterfly" and a Folktales(tm) stuffed caterpillar which turns inside out to become a Butterfly. The consumers responded very well to the idea that when they are feeling a bit strange it is just because they are "feeling themselves outgrowing the skin they are living in", and that they are just responding to the increased demands we place on them.
Rae Sirott, LCSW, MT-BC
Partial Care Supervisor
P.S. Today one of the ladies saw a "real" butterfly and when the staff member said it was pretty, the consumer said that she was a butterfly, too. Five weeks ago she was certain she was still a caterpillar.
Throughout the year I have used the song If I Were Brave in a few groups with the children at the psychiatric hospital where I work. The children here typically have behavioral and emotional disorders, frequently attention/hyperactivity disorder, oppositional defiant disorders, depression and thoughts of suicide, and many with a history of physical, sexual, and emotional abuse. In groups, I provide space for processing and expression of feelings, focus on self, and increasing self-esteem and confidence, all using music.
This summer I introduced the song Sing Love Dance to a group of girls on the extended care unit (typically 6-12 month stay). They were extremely excited to learn a dance to the song and perform it for the hospital. Their explosive enthusiasm was contagious, and I loved to be able to see their confidence and self esteem rise each day we learned a new verse or step. These kids need as much positive as possible in life, and this song provided a great message for them. I wanted to personally thank you for sharing your music and for the opportunity to make positive memories for young people. I look forward to more of your great music! Continued happiness and success to you!
Thank you again!
To learn more about Music Therapy, please visit their website at www.musictherapy.org.