Friday, June 10, 2011

Summertime and the Center is Busy

Greetings! Another clinical year is winding down, but here at the Center we are gearing up for a new year and a growing number of new projects.

It has been an exceptionally busy few months for all of us. As an example, I had three special events/presentations in February and three in March: an interview by a Canadian radio station for a special program on music therapy; a presentation to students at Sarah Lawrence College on The Power of Music: Music Therapy in Action; guest lecturer for two different courses at NYU, Introduction to Music Therapy (Steinhardt) and Creative Arts in the Helping Professions (Gallatin Division); and a workshop for the students studying Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy at Molloy College. Perhaps the most exciting event was participating in a symposium on The Autistic Mind, Music, and the Brain at SUNY Purchase. Nina Guerrero, Research Coordinator at the Center, and I presented on Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy and Autism: Research and Clinical Illustrations. This one-day symposium explored recent research on enhancing cognitive functioning through music. After the other presenters discussed their research findings, Nina and I showed clinical examples of children with autism spectrum disorders in music therapy. This brought the subject alive, and we received wonderful feedback from many participants. Purchase hopes to make this an annual event, and we look forward to further involvement in the future.

Last time I wrote about a number of research projects that are moving forward. In addition, we are also collaborating with the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary on a research project on children with cochlear implants. We are conducting a pilot study to see how music therapy impacts the children's musical perception, particularly with regard to pitch. Improved pitch perception helps children with language development.

Alan Turry, Managing Director, recently gave the keynote address: Integrating musical and psychotherapeutic thinking: Research on the relationship between words and music in clinically improvised songs, at the Third International Music Therapy Research Conference in Waterloo, Ontario. Then he headed down to the University of Indiana to teach a week-long course in clinical improvisation. The staff of the Center are considered experts in the field of music therapy and are in high demand!

Now we are saying our goodbyes to our clients for the year. It is always a time filled with mixed emotions: feeling sad at the year's ending, while celebrating all our clients have achieved. We wish everyone a restful and safe summer. We won't be resting at the Center, but rather planning for the coming clinical year and embarking on projects such as digitalizing our archives and scanning our files. My granddaughter is loving her new wading pool, splashing and pouring while staying cool. May all our days be filled with little delights.