Blog Category: Testimonials

Music Therapy in Special Education

See music therapy in the schools in action!

We are often asked about how music therapy in the schools works. Under IDEA, music therapy can be included in special education through various types of delivery including programmatic services, individual or group direct services, and consultation.

In this video blog, our Board Certified Music Therapist, Kristina Rio sat down with special education teacher, Bonnie Albanese, to discuss how music therapy has impacted her students and paraprofessionals. Her students have had music therapy in the classroom since September of 2013 as a programmatic service, with sessions focusing on shared goals. They are currently working with another music therapist on our team, Mary Kerrigan, and you will get to see her making music with the students.

A very special thank you to the Lynnfield Public School administrators, teachers, students and parents for their help in creating this video!


Learn more about music therapy services in schools, or send us an email to find out how we can serve your program.

A special thank to Alisa Carbone who produced this video.

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Magical Musical Moments: Seniors

By: Laura Micheli, MA, MT-BC

 Music Touches People of All Ages

In my work I am fortunate to encounter many “magical musical moments” with so many different people.

Photo of Laura Micheli, MA, MT-BC

Laura Micheli, MA, MT-BC

I’d like to share one particular moment working with a group of seniors with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. This particular group meets weekly for music therapy on the skilled nursing floor. There are 12 participants that join the group each week along with interchangeable staff members. The entire group, staff included, love the music therapy group! They sing the songs between sessions together, and have learned and utilized musical tools for specific individuals needs to support communication and positive behaviors. And it’s a mood booster for everyone!

One particular resident has had some great “magical musical moments” in the music therapy groups. She has later stage dementia and this has affected her communication abilities. She is generally very quiet, never initiates speech, and rarely answers questions verbally. Her peers notice her quiet nature. They say things like “Come on say something” or “She won’t tell you anything” and become frustrated by her lack of what they perceive as presence.

Music Can be Its Own Language

In our music therapy groups this woman is greeted by her peers in a supportive way because I, as the music therapist, model how we treat our peers of all abilities. Remarkably with music she can access her speech again. During one music therapy group I left a pause in the hello song I use every week where the lyric “beautiful” was supposed to be sung. She immediately sang music-for-seniors“beautiful” with just one pause. The other seniors smiled and cheered for her! From there she sang missing lyrics from all familiar songs and answered simple sung questions such as “How are you today?” Many of her peers commented after the session how wonderful it was that music could reach her in this way. Not only did she benefit from the musical stimuli but her peers saw her as a person again, something totally invaluable as a human being and especially as a human being with a disease such as dementia.

Her caregiver noticed such a difference in her when music was present that she purchased an iPod and asked me what music she should add to her playlists to help support and connect with her. Music is utilized throughout her day to connect with others and express herself. And this is just one reason why I love my job. I get to witness, experience, and create these amazing “magical music moments” that can change a life for the better.

If you are interested in learning more about how music therapy can benefit seniors, read more.

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Mother-Daughter Investment

An Investment in Quality Time

As parents and caregivers, we are always looking for activities to do with our children that are fun and enriching! With all of the demands facing today’s families, it can be difficult to take time out of our busy schedules for fun, but it truly is an investment that will pay off!

One mom, Christina LaRock, who has taken our Sprouting Melodies classes with her daughter, faced the same questions as many moms do. What can I do with my child that will be fun and rewarding for us both? Of her experience at Sprouting Melodies, Christina says “If Sprouting Melodies were a financial vehicle for investments, your ‘return on investment’ would be a sure thing, a true win!

Sprouting Melodies® is a unique program offered by Roman Music Therapists for children and their caregivers, ages 0-5. With Board Certified Music Therapists leading classes, Sprouting Melodies focuses to create child-centered musical experiences that integrate what they know about young children, development and music!

An Investment in ConnectionsHappy Sprouting Melodies Student

What makes Sprouting Melodies stand out is not only our focus on children and their expression through music, but the connections they are making with their caregivers and peers. Christina has seen the rewards of that connection. She says,

“When my daughter — who was 22 months old at the time — and I attended a Sprouting Melodies class, I thought it was going to be a fun way to engage my daughter in music and movement. More than enough reason to go! It sure was fun! What I hadn’t anticipated was that the benefits to her would be much, much more than that!”

Reaping the Rewards

Christina experienced firsthand how the classes stimulate and enhance musical, social, physical, and emotional growth and development. She says that her daughter “learned in more meaningful ways what cooperative play is, how to share and take turns more effectively, how to use music as a vehicle to express her emotions. She also gained confidence and self-esteem by being in and sharing the spotlight, exploring different instruments and building an authentic, caring relationship with our Sprouting Melodies leader, Laura!

What distinguishes our Sprouting Melodies Providers™ from others is their expertise in music therapy and special training in early childhood development. Our team is uniquely qualified to accommodate the needs of individual children within groups. They also strive to teach parents how music can strengthen bonds, engage cooperation and transform situations within the family

If that wasn’t enough, what was even more amazing was how I, and my whole family, benefited from what we learned organically through Sprouting Melodies. All the while having a lot of fun! I learned songs to help ease those times when frustration would get the better of me (or my daughter). I learned how that not just listening to music — but making music –sparked a curiosity in musical instruments, patterns and body awareness in my daughter that has provided hours of fun at home together! And, in making music alongside my daughter, I had fun and met other local parents. To this very day, I sing the songs with my daughter that not only are fun & silly but truly help me be a better parent!”

Lessons That Stick

The investment of music is one that lasts. Christina finishes, “I asked my daughter, who just turned 5 years old, what her favorite memory of Sprouting Melodies is. She gave me a huge smile and ran to get her ukulele. Without missing a beat, she started singing “oh gather round, come and sing with me”. The music and the lessons remain … we’re still reaping the benefits!”

Roman Music Therapy Services has been providing Sprouting Melodies® classes to area families for over six years. With a loyal following, some children who are now in pre-K have been with us since their early infant days! Many parents and families have made connections with one another through the classes they attended.

Our Winter II Sprouting Melodies Sessions have just started and run for six weeks. Register today to start making music and connections with your little one!

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