Populations

Music therapy and counselling services can be provided in a group or individual setting at our K’jipuktuk/ Halifax, NS and Katarokwi/ Kingston, ON locations.  In music therapy, it does not require musical ability but is a process of making, being affected by, and responding to music to address client-specific goals.  Services can be provided, but are not limited to, the following populations.

Infants, Toddlers & Neonatal Intensive Care Units

Growth & Development

Music therapy and counselling activities are effective in promoting skills and desired behaviours involving cooperative interaction (i.e. attention span, listening, sharing, turn-taking, fine and gross motor skills etc.).

Socialization

Studies show that babies are programmed to move to music and are said to prefer singing over simple speech sounds.  Music with infants and toddlers is used to socialize, engage, and connect with the world around them.  Music allows for great opportunity for child and parent connection, as the bonding hormone “oxytocin” is released when we listen to music.

Self & Creative Expression

Music gives infants and toddlers the opportunity for self and creative expression through the use of singing, vocalizing, and movement.

Individuals with Developmental Delays

Emotions

Music naturally encourages self-expression and creativity, which is useful to acknowledge, support, and validate the problems influencing our lives.  Successful session experiences also help to improve self-confidence and self-esteem.

Cognition

Music therapy and counselling session can focus on promoting sensory integration, increasing attention span,  improving motor skills and coordination of movement.  It can also be used to facilitate learning of academic concepts and behavioural skills.

Socialization

Music therapy and counselling sessions can be used with individuals with developmental disabilities to promote social interaction and group cohesion.  Music also can be used as a method of communication to develop social skills for those who are non-verbal.

Youth at Risk

Self-Worth

The therapist can guide youth to manage behaviours that have become negative patterns that aren’t serving their authentic self.  Music therapy and counselling can also assist in improving self-confidence and self-esteem.

Socialization

The therapist can guide youth to promote meaningful social interactions, which can be especially meaningful for those who’ve had challenging relationships in the childhood.

Self & Creative Expression

Music is non-threatening in nature and is often readily accepted by youth with little to no resistance.  Through active participation in music youth are given the opportunity to explore, discover, and create.  Music activities may include: listening to music and discussing lyric content, private music lessons, composing and songwriting, improvisation with voice and/ or instruments, recording music, or musical art projects.

Mental Health

Socialization

The therapist can help individuals increase their social skills within individual and group contexts.  When involved in a group session experiences can promote group cohesion, community, and social communication.

Emotions

Music, through its structure, order, and flexibility, can serve as a grounding experience for those who are agitated, anxious, distressed, confused and depressed.  The emotional and expressive nature of music can serve as a bridge to self-awareness, insight, and identification of feelings, in turn improving self-esteem and promoting growth and wellness.

Stroke, Acquired Brain Injury & Neurologic Movement Disorders

Positive Affect

Due to the emotional components in music an individual’s feelings and moods can be enhanced.  This can be especially meaningful with these individuals as they experience loss and grief.  Research also shows that the preferred music of an individual stimulates the production of the hormones dopamine and serotonin, which is reduced especially for those with Parkinson’s Disease

Movement

Automatically or subconsciously initiating movement often becomes increasingly difficult for these individuals.  Physical rehabilitation can be addressed through music, movement, dance, and rhythm to enhance mobility, balance, and coordination of movement.

Language

Singing shows improvement with individual’s speech when it has become slurred and unclear.  Breathing exercises and vocal techniques used with singing can help with: sustaining the voice, increasing and controlling volume, varying pitch and expression, improving diction, and controlling vocal speed.

Oncology

Spirituality

Individuals are able to enhance faith and spirituality as the music and discussion with a qualified therapist can provide support, validation, and acknowledgement of beliefs, values, thoughts, and ideas.

Positive Affect

Music is also often used with oncology to decrease agitation, stress, and anxiety as well as to provide temporary relief from pain and discomfort, in turn impacting quality of life.  Through music therapy & counselling experiences the individual can develop greater empowerment and control as they experience fear, loss, and/ or grief.  Individuals could also develop coping strategies through the session but also to incorporating in daily living.

Seniors: Dementia & Alzheimer’s

Cognition

Music is one of the only activities, whether it’s passive with listening or active with playing instruments, that activates multiple areas of the brain at the same time.  Through cognitive stimulation, music can provide activity to deteriorating brain areas and neural pathways.

Memory

Music is charged emotionally and elicits a unique feeling according to the associations each of us make with a piece of music. For those with dementia and Alzheimer’s music is one of the last memory centers of the brain to deteriorate.  Music is anchoring one’s memories so deeply that when music comes its not just the song that’s remembered but it’s also one’s associated memories.  Reminiscence and discussion within music therapy sessions become meaningful as it allows for validation, acknowledgement, and support.

Socialization

The therapist can engage in socialization through music which can be extremely useful for those with dementia and Alzheimer’s as they may not be able to communicate another way.  Within group sessions, the music can also assist with communication of meaningful themes and memories to promote peer connection and engagement.

Positive Affect

Scientific research shows that music stimulates the pleasure, reward, motivator centres of our brain.  Qualified therapists use this data to focus on decreasing aggression, agitation, stress, sadness, and anxiety as well as providing temporary relief from pain and discomfort, in turn impacting quality of life for seniors.

Hospice & Palliative Care

Validation

Palliative individuals can also do legacy work where they create short biography or life review by forming a compilation of songs or other artists piece that are associated with milestones in their life.  Through the creation of a legacy the person is able to reflect on one’s accomplishments, understand life experiences, and make amends for past events.  This process gives life meaning and the person is able to develop a greater sense of insight and spirituality as they reach the end of their life.

Support

The therapist can instruct palliative individuals to choose a song that best describes what they are experiencing and feeling.  Pre-composed and composed songs can serve as a coping mechanism as it validates and supports their unique life experiences.

Relaxation

Breath control has health benefits as it promotes relaxation and decreases tension, anxiety, and pain.  A music therapist can model deep, relaxed breathing, and use breathing exercises to entrain the individual’s actions to reach a state of balance.

Grief and Loss

Explore

Individuals can also explore how broader socioeconomic, cultural, political, and economic external factors affect their lives, in turn impacting intrinsic motivation and sense of self.

Strengths

The individual will focus on their strengths, abilities, values, and beliefs, to help work through the problems influencing their life.  Research shows that as we focus on our authentic self our positive personal narratives become engrained in daily living. 

Support

We offer grief and loss sessions to support awareness, processing, and development of insight into positive and negative personal narratives.