What can I expect to happen in a Music Therapy session?

Each session is different, but here at So.i.Heard, there are a few things you can count on happening. When the music therapist and client first meet, the therapist will make and assessment to determine non-musical goals to work toward. These can include things like improving expressive and receptive communication skills, fine and gross motor skills, cognitive skills, self-expression, as well as managing behavioral issues. The therapist will always work with you and discuss to make sure your priorities and concerns are being addressed.

Once the Music Therapist has assessed the client, they will determine what music interventions and protocols can be used to help reach these goals. Some examples of a short-term objectives can include:

  • Attending to an instrument for a determined amount of time without distraction - cognitive skill
  • Grasping the mallet with one hand to play the drum - fine motor skill
  • Singing improvised lyrics in a song - cognitive or social skill
  • Playing the hand drum with both hands in rhythm - gross motor skill
  • Responding with the correct song lyric when cued - communication or cognitive skill

Many sessions begin with a "hello song," and end with a "goodbye song." The purpose of this to is help clients transition into the session and to transition back out of music and into the rest of their day. Oftentimes clients with special needs need time to adjust when they enter a new setting or situation. A "hello song" offers them an orienting introduction to the session, while the "goodbye song" offers closure and preparation time for clients.

Every client has different individualized needs, and every day presents different challenges for each person. Therefore, music therapists are trained and experienced in flexibly prioritizing and meeting needs in the moment, whatever they may be. Because the music therapist aims to help the clients succeed at every stage, each session will look completely different. At So.i.Heard, we aim to make each music therapy session as productive as possible for everyone we serve!