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Music Therapy at MacPhail

by Marian Santucci Santucci.Marian@MacPhail.org

MacPhail’s music therapists serve clients and families with a broad spectrum of diagnoses. From pervasive developmental disabilities, such as autism spectrum disorder to traumatic brain injury to pain management, our music therapists have to be ready and poised to help clients with their unique needs and challenges.

For example, a percentage of our music therapy clients have limited access to verbal language. Music therapy can enable those without verbal language to communicate, participate and express themselves non-verbally. Often music therapy assists in the development of verbal communication, speech and language skills. The interpersonal timing and reciprocity in shared play, turn-taking, listening and responding to another person are augmented in music therapy and helps to address their styles of communication.

Music therapists and families alike are finding that technology integration can be an important part of helping these clients and, when used correctly, it can improve a client’s motivation. With the addition of i-pad apps such as GoTalk, a highly customizable communication app for iPad and iPod and TalkRocket, another communication app, our music therapists have access to helpful tools. Plus, the more our MT’s explore and use various apps, the more they can help our families weed through the more---or less---useful apps.

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