global music therapy project, movement, music, music therapy, music therapy for autism, music therapy group, music therapy groups, singing, special needs

Integrated Movement Therapy for Children

This workshop was facilitated by Molly Lannon Kenny, the founder of IMT. One of the many great things about Molly is that she was a speech-language pathologist before turning her passion into a yoga-based therapy. In addition, she also has a lot of experience with children diagnosed on the autism spectrum.

Having been clinically trained as a speech language pathologist, it has always been my passion to see and articulate the specific effects of different yogic practices, bridging the clinical/yoga divide with common language and sound principles.

– Molly Lannon Kenny

The IMT framework Molly created incorporates “step-wise criteria for a therapeutic mode as a clinician, and also speaks to my heart as a yogini, starting from the perspective that we are all perfect and whole as we are.” In addition to studying the six core principles of Integrated Movement Therapy, we learned how to create schedules that incorporate yoga into goals and objectives created for each child. Yoga freeze, Yoga Bowling, Yoga Transformer, Obstacle Course and Shavasana are a few of the techniques we’ll be incorporating into our sessions. The skills that are being developed during these techniques are intended to positively impact a child’s life during the session and our time together, but outside our sessions as well.

Learning about these techniques at this time is particularly inspiring and exciting as The Global Music Therapy Project prepares for our next International trip to Nepal and India at the end of April. We’re scheduled to meet music therapists and observe their work within these countries and look forward to sharing what we discover.

Our music therapy groups for March are on the 5th and 19th. In between these two groups, Kate and I will be in Boise, Idaho, at our Western Region’s Chapter of the American Music Therapy Association conference, where we’ll attend sessions on the latest innovations and concepts in music therapy. This will be a month full of new approaches and ideas within our clinic!


Angie Kopshy, MM, MT-BC
Angie Kopshy, MM, MT-BC

Angie Kopshy, MM, MT-BC, is a board-certified music therapist and founder of Big Sky Music Therapy. Upon completion of her Master’s in Music from Boise State University, Angie returned to Portland to study music therapy. Before moving to Montana, her work included a private practice that incorporated neurologic music therapy techniques, the supervision of practicum students and interns and a teaching position at Pacific University. Angie is also a singer/songwriter with the band, Stoneface Honey.

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autism, movement, music, music therapy, singing, special needs

Summer camp option for special needs children in the Portland, Oregon area

For the families who are beginning to map out their child’s summer plan, consider Marylhurst’s Creative Arts Day Camp as one of your options. As a Marylhurst graduate and previous Creative Arts Day CampAssistant Director, I strongly recommend this program!

Creative Arts Day Camp

The Creative Arts Day Camp for children with and without special needs is a one-week, half-day program where children have access to creative arts therapists (music, art, drama, poetry, dance/movement).  Campers will participate in projects that reinforce the ideal of achieving one’s maximum potential in a friendly and adaptive environment that fosters success.  

July 13 – 16, 2015 for children aged 5-9
July 20 – 23, 2015 for children aged 10-13

COST: $200 per week

autism, movement, music, music therapy, music therapy for autism, neurologic music therapy, special needs

Music Therapy Outreach Week #4: Crossing Midline

For those of you attending our Music Therapy Outreach groups, you may have noticed that many of our facilitations place emphasis on developing motor planning skills. In both one-to-one and group sessions, we work to develop the parts of the brain that deal with movement. Through training, the brain can change both in structure and function, and new neural connections can be made through repetition.

Rhythm can play a huge role in activating the motor areas of the brain and has been found to not only affect the timing of movement, but the total movement pattern. We especially like to implement facilitations that target cross-lateral movement: crossing midline. Crossing midline is very important for brains of all ages! When you participate in cross-lateral movement, the right and left hemispheres of the brain interact, which activates the brain and helps to build stronger connections between the hemispheres.

Cross-lateral movement helps create connections between nerve cells and is critical to the development of complex skills such as the ability to understand what we read or what someone is saying to us (which requires both hemispheres working together and separately). Lateralization is key in reading, writing, gross motor control, and organization.

In this video, we provide snippets of Bear Hunt, The Drum Song and of full verse of the Paddle drum song inspired by Kimberly Sena Moore of Music Therapy Maven.  We encourage you to incorporate more movement into your lives at home, in the car, while you’re in the waiting room – anywhere and everywhere! Tap your knees or clap your hands as you’re reading a familiar book or add some movement to your child’s favorite song. Turn everything into a fancy pattycake affair while paying special attention to getting arms to cross midline without twisting the entire body.

Angie Kopshy, MM, MT-BC
Angie Kopshy, MM, MT-BC

Music Therapy Services of Portland is directed by board-certified music therapist, Angie Kopshy. Upon completion of her Master’s in Music from Boise State University, Angie returned to Portland to study music therapy at Marylhurst University. Music Therapy Services of Portland specializes on working with children on the autism spectrum. Angie is also a singer/songwriter with the band, Stoneface Honey.