Music Therapy Suffolk County New York

printer friendly documentPediatric Music Therapy

Nassau County & Suffolk County - Long Island

Making Music as Therapy

The interventions used in Music Therapy aid in fostering skills across the entire developmental spectrum for children with special needs and their typically developing peers. Music Therapists encourage a child’s sense of exploration and wonder as they focus on the goals targeted in the child’s Individualized Education Program (IEP). Watch as Elizabeth Schwartz, LCAT, MT-BC Alternatives For Children's Music Therapy Supervisor uses Music to accomplish therapeutic and educational goals, improving each child's cognitive, social, physical, psychological and communication functioning.

Music Therapy for Children Long IslandWhat is Music Therapy?

Music Therapy is a well-established, research-based profession in which music is used to accomplish therapeutic and educational goals.  Music Therapy helps to improve cognitive, social, physical, psychological, and communication functioning.  The Music Therapists at Alternatives For Children design and implement music sessions for individuals and groups based on the specific needs of the children.   Music Therapy also provides an opportunity for the children to practice and generalize the skills they acquire throughout their school day. 
The Music program at Alternatives For Children follows the New York State Learning Standards for the Arts.  Music Therapists participate in team treatment, goal planning, ongoing evaluation, and curriculum support.  Music used at Alternatives For Children is always child-centered, age appropriate and fun!  The Music Therapists use a combination of familiar children’s songs along with songs and music they have specially composed for the children.

Who are the Alternatives For Children Music Therapists?

Members of Alternatives For Children’s highly experienced Music Therapy staff maintain board certification in Music Therapy and are members of the American Music Therapy Association, and may also be licensed in New York State as Creative Arts Therapists.  Our Music Therapists are all active in the music community as performers, composers, presenters and teachers.

What are the benefits of Music Therapy?

The interventions used in Music Therapy aid in fostering skills across the entire developmental spectrum for children with special needs.  Music Therapists encourage a child’s sense of exploration and wonder as they focus on the goals targeted in your child’s Individualized Education Program (IEP). 

Which children receive Music Therapy Services?

Every child at Alternatives For Children has access to the Music Therapy program.  All children participate once a week with their class friends and staff, in a “music class,” where they sing songs, play instruments, and learn through music.  Some children receive Music Therapy as a Preschool Special Education related service as part of their Individualized Education Program (IEP).   Children in Early Intervention may participate in a music-based My Grown Up & Me parent/child group as part of their Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) .

Music Therapy for Children in Suffolk CountyCan my child get individual Music Therapy?

Music Therapy may be considered as a Preschool Special Education related service, like Speech or Occupational Therapy, and is provided following the same guidelines.   The need for a Preschool Special Education related service is determined by an assessment conducted by a qualified professional and can then be considered by the Committee for Preschool Special Education for inclusion in a student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) .  As with other Special Education related services, Music Therapy may be recommended to address specific developmental delays or areas of concern with your child’s motor, communication, cognitive and social abilities, and when it is shown that your child would gain significant benefit from this related service.

How is Music Therapy different from other music programs?

While Music Therapy sessions might look like other music programs, Music Therapy is always based on Individualized Education Program (IEP) therapeutic and educational goals.  The language of the songs provides for functional words and phrases that the children can generalize into other areas of their lives.   The music is carefully crafted to provide for success and motivation.

What do the children do in Music Therapy sessions?

In each session the children sing songs, use musical gestures, play special instruments and learn through music in order to meet individual goals and objectives.  Goals and outcomes may include; the learning of academic concepts, increasing cooperation and appropriate social behavior, providing avenues for communication, increasing self-organization and self confidence, improving motoric responses and competence. Most importantly, music is motivating, fun and provides for success!

Where is Music Therapy provided?

Music Therapy sessions are held in a variety of settings, depending on the needs of the child and their Individualized Education Program (IEP) .  These settings include large, well-equipped music rooms, local libraries or in the child’s classroom or daycare site. 
Alternatives For Children Setauket has an outdoor music space called The Sound Garden which is used throughout the day by all staff as an outdoor learning environment.