The music therapy program at Western Michigan University is dedicated to providing quality music therapy services while rendering an opportunity for the acquisition of new skills and abilities. As a community-based academic training facility, the Music Therapy Clinic students and professionals identify non-musical and musical goals that may be successfully targeted in the music setting while always providing a respectful, supportive environment.
The clinic offers therapy to a variety of clientele including pediatric, adolescent, adult and geriatric clients. All music therapy services are provided by qualified graduate or undergraduate music therapy students under the supervision of Board Certified Music Therapists on the faculty of Western Michigan University. All sessions are specifically designed to meet each client's individual needs and may include the following:
- Individualized Treatment Plan
- Individual or Group Music Therapy
- Collaboration with schools, agencies, and other health professionals
Benefits of Music Therapy
Music therapy can be an appropriate treatment modality for all ages and diagnoses. Using a variety of techniques related to the individual's or group's musical preferences and special needs, the music therapist designs a music-based treatment plan to target non-musical (and when appropriate) musical goals.
Examples of possible goal areas and music therapy interventions include the following:
- Increase academic successes through pairing academic information with musical material.
- Access long term memory to stimulate reminiscence and reality orientation through singing familiar songs.
- Decrease stress and agitation by using instrumental and vocal music that may positively influence autonomic functioning.
- Increase gross and fine motor functioning through rehabilitation exercises performed to and through music.
- Increase communication through both verbal and non-verbal methods of self expression.
- Increase socialization by providing instruction or age-appropriate music-based eyepieces.
- Decrease anxiety and symptoms of depression through music listening, lyric analysis, music and imagery.
- Improve tolerance of pain and stress through the use of guided music listening, imagery, and other relaxation techniques.
Facilities and Resources
The Carmel Elliott Provencal Suite is the larger of two treatment rooms in the Music Therapy Clinic. It is named in honor of Carmel Provencal, an alumnus of Western Michigan University and benefactor to the program. Both the Carmel Elliott Provencal Suite and the second treatment room contain acoustic and electronic (MIDI) musical instruments, playback and recording equipment, numerous recordings, and assorted educational and adaptive resources used by student clinicians in their work with clients.
Information for prospective clients
Do I need to have a musical background in order to come to the Music Therapy Clinic?
No. Prior musical experience is not required to receive music therapy services. The universal appeal of music in one form or another allows nearly every individual to relate to music and to participate in music-based treatment procedures at some level.
What is the charge for services in the Music Therapy Clinic?
Modest fees are charged for services. A sliding fee scale is available for clients with demonstrated financial need. While clinical services are not directly billed to insurance companies, documentation will be provided for those wishing to request reimbursement from their individual health care provider.
My child is already involved in music in school. Isn't that the same as Music Therapy?
Children in regular, inclusive or special school settings may already participate in some type of music education program as part of their overall curriculum. While this is an important part of their total education, the primary emphasis of music education is to develop aesthetic awareness and an appreciation for the arts. Music therapy uses music to foster the development of many non-musical aspects of the clients growth (such as motor, communication, cognitive, social skills, and enhancement of emotional health) while offering the opportunity to learn new musical skills.
Since I am already involved in other therapeutic programs, why should I attend the Music Therapy Clinic?
Music therapy provides a unique avenue for change that may succeed where more traditional approaches to treatment have not. Although many of the goals for treatment may be similar, the music therapist draws upon a wide range of musical experiences in order to facilitate each client's growth.