Tag Archives: music therapy

Join Us at Our Open House April 8th

Have You Seen Our New Space?

We are happily making music In Wakefield. Whether you followed our move from Melrose or have yet to see our new home, we are opening our doors on Saturday, April 8th to show off our new space! Pop in any time between 11:30 am and 1:00 pm on the 8th to tour our new reception area and studio. Our open house will also be a fantastic time to connectChamber Ribbon Cutting with old friends or learn more about all the wonderful services we offer here at Roman Music Therapy!

While our formal ribbon cutting, which happened with representatives from the Chamber, took place on January 30th, this will be an opportunity to welcome the community to our accessible, great new location!

We hope you’ll join us for light refreshments, conversation and of course – music – on April 8th!

There is ample parking behind our building and the lot is off of Yale street. We are located on the first floor, through the glass door and down the hallway. Keep an eye out for the balloons!

Hope to see you all at our Open House on April 8th!

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInEmail this to someone

Music Therapy Group Services for Children and Young Adults

New group services that we are excited about!

Many of our clients are school aged children and young adults, ages 3-22. For them, music therapy can increase self-confidence and foster development through exploratory activitiesMaking Music Creates Joy, among other benefits. While many children and young adults receive services at school or during a supported program, our music therapists have been developing group programs that can be done in our center and that can supplement those other group or individual sessions they may be a part of. With the intent of increasing engagement, developing community and fostering leadership skills, we have three new groups to offer families.

Music Therapy Club (3-7yrs)

Music Therapy Club, which meets on Tuesdays at 4PM, is designed to be a supportive music making environment that facilitates engagement, joy and success for all. Children can participate in music experiences that take full advantage of their individual strengths while minimizing the impact of difficulties. A family-based group for parents and children, siblings are also welcome to join the fun! 

Pre-teen Music Therapy Group (9-13 years)

This group, which meets on Mondays at 4:30PM, offers a supportive environment where pre-teens with special needs can improve social skills, build bonds and engage in peer-to-peer interactions. Opportunities for leadership and creative expression, all with the help of music, help children achieve their goals. 

Teen Music Therapy Group (14-22 years)

Specially designed for teens and young adults with special needs, this group uses structured music making improvisation, songwriting or lyric analysis to engage with clients and foster creativity. Skill building and LeadershipAll within a safe space, clients can explore potential and develop satisfying relationships with others. This group meets on Mondays at 5:30PM.

While the Music Therapy Club requires parent or caregiver participation, the pre-teen and teen groups are for building independence. For this purpose, students will participate in group. Parents and caregivers are invited to spend the time in our reception area, enjoying a cup of coffee and building communities of their own. All three groups run on four week intervals and cost $115.

Special demo day Monday, March 20th.

To give families an idea of the group dynamic before committing to signing up we will be holding a demo day on Monday, March 20th of the pre-teen and teen groups. If you are interested in attending, please call the office at 781-224-3300.

Sign up for the Music Therapy Club  online or by calling the office.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInEmail this to someone

A Message From Our Founder

Founder’s Message

Meredith PizziI have always loved living in New England. I love seeing the snow coated trees glisten in the sun and the excitement the kids have when they hear those beloved New England words, “Snow Day.”  I also love the first warm mornings of springtime when you can go outside with a light jacket, or even the thrill of no jacket at all, after being bundled up for what seemed like an eternity! Then the warmth of the summer blankets us for a few months and I soak in all the Vitamin D I can! And then all of a sudden, the cool, crisp air of fall moves in and I take in the familiar smell of the autumn leaves. I really do love it all!

 

Reflecting On The Past 10 Years

Celebrating our 10th Anniversary this past year provided me with a similar opportunity to reflect back on the seasons of change in the journey of Roman Music Therapy Services. It really did start out with me and my car, driving from session to session. I began with services for two agencies when I moved to Massachusetts in 2006. Eventually I added Saturday morning sessions for individuals in my basement and an increasing number of clients and contracts.  Over time, the work load grew, and as I am not one to turn down a request for help, I began to expand our services by bringing on additional music therapists, first as contractors and then as employees.

Growing Roman Music Therapy Services to the organization that we are today has truly been one of the greatest joys of my life! The children and adults I have met and had the pleasure of working with, the music therapists I have trained and supervised, and the administrative support staff who have provided their skills and energies to our mission and vision have all played a part in the story of Roman Music Therapy Services. To everyone who has given me the opportunity over these past 10 years to be a better music therapist and a better person, I offer you my sincere thanks! I am honored and delighted to work with an incredible team of professionals, amazing families, service providers and clients to fulfill our mission every day!

10 year timeline

Making Music, Transforming Lives

As I walk into our new Music Therapy Center in Wakefield and I see our mission on the wall, I am filled with a sense of purpose and commitment each and every day! I know that music and my involvement in making music with others had a tremendous impact on my life’s course and my development as a person. I would not be who I am today if I hadn’t been the only girl trumpet player in school. I don’t remember the name of all of my childhood teachers, but I do remember the names of each and every music teacher I had, and I remember the hours I spent practicing to perfect my craft – to be the very best trumpet player I could be!  All State auditions and performances, playing in orchestras, jazz bands, marching bands and chamber ensembles gave me a voice, a community, a sense of belonging. Yes, I was that tall redhead in the back of the jazz band, dancing as I counted my rests or played my part, and taking my shoes off in rehearsals and performances to really feel the music!

With my parents’ support and encouragement, I followed my heart into a field that I knew had the capacity to change lives. I had no idea what it would look like, and believe me, neither did my parents! But that didn’t stop me from following my convictions and my call to making music part of everyone’s life.

Forging Connections Through Music

Today, our team of 12 employees at Roman Music Therapy Services is making this vision a reality each and every day. In our next 10 years, our dream is to expand opportunities for music making even further. We want ALL people to have the experience of community and belonging that comes with music making. It seems that too often, our daily lives pull us apart from the people around us. And even the way that we consume music with our headphones, we are missing the chance to come together as common people. At the end of the day, we are all humans – Human beings with beautiful and unique differences. And we are all humans who can share in the joy, fun, and community of music making.

I hope that you will continue to join us in this mission of bringing music to everyone!

If you are the new parent who feels isolated and stressed, or just feel like you have a lot to learn as a new parent, please come join us for a Sprouting Melodies class! For families with children with special needs, we are committed to providing community programming and specialized services to help build bridges and bring families together. We are here for you! For adults living and working in our communities who experience the challenges of physical or developmental disabilities, or struggles with pain, depression or isolation, we are here to open up new doors to communication, friendships, and learning, all through the joy of music making! And for our aging adults, we offer a way to communicate, reflect on the past, and participate with others in a way that brings meaning, joy and purpose to our daily lives.

As we expand our community offerings to bring people together to make music, we hope that you will look for and take advantage of our intergenerational music making events. We truly believe that by focusing on the goals of shared joy and experiencing community through music making, we can help transform lives and communities to be the very best that we can be!

 

 

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInEmail this to someone

A Musical Milestone!

A Musical Milestone: Celebrating 10 years of Music Making

10 years of making music

This summer marks the 10th year that Roman Music Therapy Services has been making music in the community — a milestone we are excited to share with all of you!

Our Founder and Executive Director, Meredith Pizzi, MPA, MT-BC,  launched RMTS 10 years ago from her home office in Malden. Since those beginnings, we have experienced  tremendous growth! While based in Melrose, our therapists also see clients across New England.

Our team works with a variety of populations, spanning the spectrum from beginning to end of life care, and we also hold our very popular Sprouting Melodies classes in our Melrose office.

We couldn’t have gotten here without YOU!

To celebrate our musical milestone and to show appreciation to the clients, stakeholders, supporters and contributors to Roman Music Therapy Services, we will be hosting a 10 year anniversary celebration at Memorial Hall in Melrose on Saturday, October 1, 2016.

The event will take place from 11:30 am to 2:00 pm. The agenda will include recognition of community partners, success highlights,  music (of course!), lunch and a drum circle.

Join us – register now!  Continue reading

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInEmail this to someone

Veterans and the Power of Music

by: Laetitia Brundage, MT-BC

A Time to Reflect

As we come closer to Memorial Day, I often think about those incredibly brave individuals who have lost their lives in order to help protect our freedom. They made the ultimate sacrifice to help us preserve the liberties we often take for granted. There are many men and women returning to civilian life burdened and battered by the trauma of war. Their families also feel the psychological effects of having a loved one on in battle.

I think of this and I wonder, “What can I do to show my appreciation? How can I help?”

4659079600_892e3aa988_b

And then a new partnership presented itself, giving me the chance to give back! For the past several months, I have had the incredible opportunity to help out many post-combat veterans through what I know best, music! With a team of music therapists from Roman Music Therapy Services, I have been able to act in support of a new clinical program called “Home Base.”

Dedicated to Healing

Home Base is a program run through Massachusetts General Hospital (M.G.H.) and the Red Sox Foundation. It involves an intensive 2-week clinical program to help post-combat veterans suffering from PTSD, TBI(Traumatic Brain Injury) and other psychological disorders brought on by their experiences. The range and intensity of therapies and interventions in this program are vast. Music was brought on board to help transition the veterans and their families into the program.

By leading two group drumming experiences per clinical period, we have been able to help promote community by building trust and camaraderie among the veterans, families and staff members. Simultaneously, we are working to reduce the anxiety and stress related to being part of such a program. Since February of this year, we have served 30 veterans, 21 family members and 6 staff members.

Serving Veterans and Families

At the end of each drum circle, we invite the group members to provide us with their reflections on the experience by writing them down on index cards. The following quotes are from the veterans and their family members:

  • “Cohesive; Barrier crossing”
  • “Total transformation of everyone’s attitude. Everyone was closer and more open.”
  • “This was a powerful way to see how we (strangers) can work together.”
  • “This was a great way to bring the group together right off the bat. Perfect icebreaker. Also really nice to play some music again.”
  • “Fun! Great way to get to know each other. Fun to watch other people have fun.”
  • “Nice to be able to share a side with family that isn’t all gloom and doom.”

While our contribution to the overall treatment plan could be considered small, the feedback from those experiencing these musical moments shows that it provides an essential amount of balance and relief during their strenuous journeys. As far as I’m concerned, I am honored to provide a service that can bring smiles and laughter to people that are fighting and coping with a very real and difficult battle everyday.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInEmail this to someone

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.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInEmail this to someone

Why We Love Repetition in Music

As music therapists,  we use music to help people with varying needs access their full potential and grow through the music. Some of the benefits of using music are that it is motivating and can help to stimulate and focus a person’s attention. This is in part due to the repetitious nature of music.

In this video, Elizabeth Hellmuth Margulis talks about the “exposure effect” and how repetition invites us in to participate in the music instead of just passively listening.

Thank you, Kristina Rio, for sharing this interesting and thought-provoking TED Talk!

We can share the benefits of music therapy with your team, group or organization. If you are interested in a participatory music event, review our website for ideas.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInEmail this to someone

Supporting Healthy Sibling Development with Music

Meredith Pizzi offers hints on how to support sibling and family development with music in a podcast and article published by imagine.magazine. Imagine.magazine  is “an annual online magazine sharing evidence-based information and trends related to early childhood music therapy through various media.”
supporting healthy sibling development with music

Article excerpt

…Starting at the very beginning, we can look at how music and singing can be used to promote a healthy start before delivery. We know that babies recognize familiar music when they are born and introducing music that is repeated while in utero can help babies as they transition in their first few months. This priming of familiar music will make music an even more effective tool when the baby is born.

By encouraging siblings to talk to the baby prenatally and sing their favorite songs, you are also starting to develop a healthy shared connection between the siblings. The older child or children will already have an idea of what to “do” with the baby when the little one is born.

Recommended resources

  1. Leman, K., & Leman, K. (2009). The new birth order book: Why you are the way you are? Grand Rapids, MI: F.H. Revell.
  2. Salmon, C., & Schumann, K. (2011). The secret power of middle children: How mid-dleborns can harness their unexpected and remarkable abilities. New York, NY: Hudson Street Press.
  3. Schwartz, E. (2012). You and Me Makes…We: A growing together songbook. Retrieved from https://raisingharmony.com/shop/you-and-me-makeswe-a-growing-together-songbook/

 

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInEmail this to someone