music therapy for autism, special needs

Music Therapy Groups for Special Needs Children in Butte

The Music Therapy Groups for Special Needs Children have been scheduled for the rest of 2018. The groups are scheduled for: October 13, November 10 and December 8th. Although it would be great to have your child attend all groups, it is not required. Registration is required. Please call Angie at 971-221-7144 or email angie@montanamusictherapy.com to register.

What happens during a music therapy group?

What: These groups are designed to provide a supportive environment that addresses goals such as improved social skills, increased expressive language, and enhanced motor planning. Each session will include opportunities to connect with others through music using singing, dancing, instrument playing, and musical games.

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When: The 2nd Saturday of every month (11:15-noon)

Dates for the rest of 2018: October 13, November 10 and December 8th

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Where: 1252 Harrison Ave., Butte, MT 59701

These groups are held in an upstairs room without an elevator. Please let us know if you need support in getting someone up the stairs.


To get a better idea of what these music therapy sessions look like, we encourage you to watch some of the videos we’ve created on our Big Sky Music Therapy youtube page.

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL2ZvBHCBSZ0RSW6MMYxrrcoCDW_TCHOxB

For further information email Angie at angie@montanamusictherapy.com

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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.

autism, music, music therapy, music therapy for autism, musical stories, neurologic music therapy, singing, special needs

Creating a musical story for ASD

The idea of a musical story for ASD was inspired by social stories that are being used with more and more frequency within the ASD world. Carol Grey officially created Social Stories in 1990 after working with a team of incredible parents, professionals, and students for many years. One of Grey’s first stories was a step-by-step story that described how to follow and complete directions in a sewing pattern.  We were creating a curriculum that would enable us to teach from a distance, one story and social packet at a time. Grey provides an in depth example while writing about a student named Eric in The Discovery of Social Stories (1990-1992).

The three principles of the Social Story philosophy that guide the development of each Story.

  1. Abandon all assumptions.
  2. Recognize that the social impairment in autism is shared, with mistakes made on all sides of the social equation.
  3. When Typical people interact with people with autism, both perspectives are equally valid and deserving of respect.

While embracing the practice of taking the unique perspectives of ourselves and those with whom we are working into account, a musical story also embraces the impact of music upon the brain. An article published in Autism Research revealed that “functional fronto-temporal connectivity, disrupted during spoken-word perception, was preserved during sung-word listening in ASD, suggesting alternate mechanisms of speech and music processing in ASD.” If you’re a visual learner, the images in this article, particularly the one on page 6, may give you a better idea of these implications. According to this research, singing rather than speaking, enhances neural activity.

At Music Therapy Services of Portland, we want to coach parents, caretakers and allied health professionals working with ASD on how to create a musical story. Our workshop will walk you through the process of creating a social story from your child’s perspective.

We will take you through the three primary steps involved in creating a musical story. Come with a challenge in mind that you’d like to help your child overcome through a musical story. Some examples for inspiration:

  • Going to the bathroom independently
  • Eating lunch at school
  • Taking a shower
  • Getting dressed in the morning
  • Getting ready for bed

Eventbrite - Workshop: Creating Musical Stories for ASD

The next workshop is on March 15th from 6-8pm for $25. Register here or contact us with any questions: angie@musictherapyportland.com, 971-221-7144. We are offering 20% off for a group of 3 or more. Please contact us for the discount code.


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.