The room was arranged with chairs in a circle and a drum at each chair. Some staff were hesitant, while others moved quickly to try out a drum. As people found their seats, a few shyly trying out the drums and small percussion, there was a sense of anticipation coupled with skepticism. “What are we going to do with drums?” “How will banging on drums help us to work better together?” Others enthusiastically embraced the

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There was a time in our history when being part of a singing group was common. Many people were part of their church choir, legion hall chorus, barbershop quartet, or even just holiday caroling group. Before it was possible to access professionally recorded music 24/7 at the touch of a button, we were all musicians. Singing was part of everyday life, and families would gather around the piano after dinner or share folk songs by

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The holidays can be a joyous or a stressful time of year. Most often, it is both. Trying to juggle holiday traditions, workplace expectations, gift buying, decorating and cooking, along with the daily demands of modern life quickly becomes overwhelming. These feelings can intensify if you have young kids, elderly parents, or family members with special needs. You’ve heard many times how important self care is. But sometimes, a self care practice can feel like

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When you hear the phrase “drum circle,” what comes to mind? A group of 20-somethings with dreadlocks and sandals sitting on the beach? Native or Indigenous peoples participating in a sacred tradition? A 1960’s hippy commune? How about a group of business executives at a work retreat, or a group of family caregivers? "Drum circles are not really about drumming. They are about feeling good and connecting with other people through a powerful, shared experience."

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Somewhere right now, a mother is singing to her newborn daughter. A little boy is humming softly to himself as he plays with his toys. A grandmother is sharing the sounds of her native language with her grandchild through songs her mother taught to her. Two children are playing a clapping game on the playground and several others are chanting schoolyard rhymes. This soundtrack of early childhood could be happening in any country, any neighborhood.

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Early childhood is a time of wonder, exploration, and growth. The first few years of life have a tremendous and lasting impact on learning, brain development, and physical & mental health. It is estimated that during these formative years, the human brain forms one million new neural connections every second. These connections become the foundation upon which future learning is built. Do you remember the Mozart Effect? A phenomenon when it was published back in

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April is National Autism Awareness Month. In the past 25 years, awareness of autism has grown, and treatment strategies, research, and cultural attitudes have shifted as well. This year, the Autism Society has issued a call to move “beyond simply promoting autism awareness to encouraging friends and collaborators to become partners in movement toward acceptance and appreciation.” Music therapists are well positioned to meet this call to action. Right now, there is a child with autism

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If you are like most people, you are drawn to music. Music makes us feel good. It triggers our emotions, brings back memories, and moves us in ways we find difficult to describe. We use music to cheer on our favorite sports teams, heighten feelings of expectation in a movie, and make time pass more quickly when doing chores. We find this affect in people and cultures all over the world. Music motivates us, encourages

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