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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This month, I'd like to share a guest post by Carla Tanguay, MA, MT-BC, a music therapist currently working in Mount Desert Island, ME. In this post, Carla reflects on a session that she shared with a client who was on hospice care.  Delicious Music is a beautiful story about the importance of the present moment, and how for many, it is all that exists. The practice of mindfulness, a current buzzword in popular culture, is an ancient

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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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…in Music Therapy Advocacy A guest post from Lana Card, MT-BC of The George Center in Atlanta that offers stellar music therapy programs with a very creative staff.  Lana was one of the many stuck in their cars for 10+ hours during the recent ice storms in Atlanta.  In this post she transforms a very difficult experience into music therapy advocacy - not easy task and well done. A good read and worth a few minutes.

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With Good Reason, is a radio program that examines a wide range of topics with leading scholars.  On August 4th, host Sarah McConnell examines Healing with music interviewing Jim Borling, music therapy professor at Radford University.  She provides a great overview of music therapy and how many different types of music can be effective in working with individuals - in this case teenagers.  The segment is the first 15 minutes of the show. For teenagers dealing

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I have re-posted a few articles by AMTA Immediate Past President Ronna Kaplan as she has a wonderful way of describing and clarifying various aspects of music therapy.  Today's article, Music therapy for individuals with Alzheimer's and other dementias, is an excellent description of how music therapy can help individuals.  In this article, Ronna responds to the video clip of Alive Inside (see previous News post How music awakens Alzheimer's patients) and describes for readers the profound impact music

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Interesting article from the July issue of Frontiers in Human Neuroscience about how early musical instrument training may reduce the effects of mental decline associated with aging.  If you work in music education in any way this is a must read. "...The research found that older adults who learned music in childhood and continued to play an instrument for at least 10 years outperformed others in tests of memory and cognitive ability." Read

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