Fuel for the Fire

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Fuel for the Fire

Our long time student and friend of the studio, Hal, sent me the link to this article earlier this week. It's short and sweet, and the video is well worth a watch.

This little boy with Down's syndrome is learning to talk because his very musical sister has taken to singing songs with him to help him develop speech. She is, in every sense of the word, a music therapist in the making. At such a young age, she is already utilizing basic principles that music therapists with years of training still put to work. But there's more than that - it's her attitude.

The family's doctors told them that the boy was nowhere near learning to talk. A true music therapist hears that, and without flinching, says, "Watch him." This kind of thing is fuel for the fire that keeps music therapists going. As long as doctors keep saying things like "She will never," or "He won't be able to," or "She just can't," you can bet that music therapists will continue to wake up every morning and get to work. We exist solely to prove statements like that to be wrong.

I have a theory that doctors only say that kind of thing to motivate music therapists. ;D

Please take a moment to check out the sweet video here:

http://abc7ny.com/family/big-sisters-music-teaches-toddler-with-down-syndrome-to-talk/2956759/

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Research Roundup #2

Hello and welcome to 2018! I know it's been a while since you've heard from the music therapy department here at So.i.Heard, and I've made it my personal 2018 resolution to post more so we can feel more connected this year.

If you're like me, the beginning of the year rekindles your need for projects, organization, and new endeavors. At work, this tends to materialize as quests for brand new research in anything to do with music therapy that I can apply in practice, or share with you!

Looking for good research in music therapy can be difficult and discouraging - not enough people are doing the research (music therapists are busy in actual practical work!) and we don't have the resources to show effectiveness in large groups and over long amounts of time. On top of that, it takes a VERY long time for peer reviewed research to get approved and published.

That being said, I have come across a few articles in the last week that I find inspiring and promising. The first is regarding preterm infants, and how music might have a positive impact on brain development in very early life. In the article, the authors pointed out a factor that may or may not be unique to music therapy research, which further complicates the matter of adding valuable, reliable research to our body of work:

"Our initial experience with recruiting and consenting the parents has revealed parental concerns regarding the fact that their infant could end up in the control group and would not receive the music therapy intervention. Indeed, for some, this was a motivating factor not to participate in the study. We also had to exclude some control infants from the study because the parents started to intuitively sing to their infants (or they previously done so on a regular basis). These potential confounders highlight the value that many parents place on music therapy and the role of singing in interactions with their babies and the bonding process as previously reported in the literature."

You can read the rest of the article here.

Another great read that I came across, found here, provides updates for ongoing research funded by the BRAIN Initiative, announced by the Obama administration in 2013. If you are the kind of music fan that follows current opera starts, you'll be as excited as I was to hear that soprano Renée Fleming is getting involved due to her obvious musical background and her (more surprising) interest in neuroscience.

Photo from this article.

Photo from this article.

My favorite part about the article, though, is the focus on clinical music therapy! I am ecstatic that the scientists working on this initiative are finally incorporating the study of music processing into the BRAIN initiative - as it turns out, music can reveal important secrets about how the brain works. Who know music was so important??

Well, music therapists did, of course! ;)

Stay tuned for more research updates, as well as program updates, right here on our blog and mailing list! As always, don't forget to give us a call to schedule your free consultation and studio tour!

Sincerely,
Brooke

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TEACHER PROFILE: Diego Bussenius

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TEACHER PROFILE: Diego Bussenius

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EDUCATION

Berklee College of Music

SPECIALTY

Bass / Piano / Guitar / Production

DIEGO BUSSENIUS


BASS / PIANO / GUITAR / PRODUCTION

    I began my interest in music during elementary school where I started playing the French horn. Since then music has played a vital role in my life, from playing in bands in high school to starting my own music studio while studying at Berklee. Technology plays an important role in how I connect with my students and relate our lessons to contemporary music. 

   

INFLUENCES

James Yancey
James Jamerson
Paul McCartney
Tom Jobim
Herbie Hancock

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TEACHER PROFILE: Jennifer Fischer

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TEACHER PROFILE: Jennifer Fischer

 
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EDUCATION

Berklee College of Music

SPECIALTY

Music Therapy / Voice / Piano /Songwriting

 

JENNIFER FISCHER


MUSIC THERAPY / VOICE / PIANO / SONGWRITING

Music has been a part of my life since I began taking piano and voice lessons at 7 years old. Throughout high school and college, I picked up guitar, ukulele, bass, began songwriting, and sang in bands, choir, and in theater. I graduated from Berklee in 2014 with a degree in Music Therapy, and have since worked with people of all ages and abilities, from young children to those in Hospice care. When I'm not teaching, I can be found playing regular shows at Sidewalk Cafe in NYC. Music has helped shape me into the person I am, and I aspire to pass that passion along to my students.

INFLUENCES

Regina Spektor
Laura Marling
Andrew Bird
Pink Floyd
Radiohead

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