Saturday, May 31, 2008

May 31, 2008 - Performance Wellness Part III

First off, we're back from Pennsylvania and back at our usual time - 5:00 Eastern/4:00 Central. Hopefully you will all join us for today's show.

We'll be going over the last part of the Performance Wellness information, as well as doing our website of the week and the music therapy historical note of the week.

This week, we'll be adding a new feature: Music Therapy In Action - designed for those who aren't music therapists but want to know more about it. Usually it will be an example of a music therapy technique, and we'll break it down so that laypersons can see how we use music as therapy.

The Website of the Week is Time for Music. It is the personal and professional website of Wade Richards, a music therapist in Rochester, New York. On this site he shares the classes, workshops and music therapy services that he provides.

See you this afternoon at 5:00 Eastern, 4:00 Central on The Music Therapy Show with Janice Harris!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Performance Wellness - May 24 Follow up

Thanks to everyone who joined us on Saturday. Sorry again for the odd time - we'll be back to our usual time this Saturday (May 31) - 5:00 Eastern/4:00 Central. It was just so great, though, to do the show from the Performance Wellness course in Pennsylvania.

If you missed the show, you can listen to it here. Other than a minor issue with the opening music (it was a little too loud, but once we passed through it, the sound was great the rest of the way, so bear with us through that), it was a great show. I was able to describe the beautiful country Dr. Montello's place is in, as well as her house and the people joining me in the program. I went into some detail about Performance Wellness, although I hope to do more next week as a wrap-up of my experience this weekend.

We were also able to answer some questions from the chatroom that were very thoughtful and insightful. I've never been more aware of the fact that audience participation really makes the show something special, and I encourage everyone to join me - whether you call in, or join the chatroom, or email me. Just please join the conversation.

Part of the questions related to treating people with autism. You can see the link I reference in the show here on the right - FAQ Autism. As I mentioned on the show, this is a page run by a music therapist (Cathy Knoll, MA, MT-BC) and she updates the page quite often.

Two of the questions came from Dr. Kirnon. She has her own Saturday morning Blog Talk Radio Show, "Health and Wellness", as well as a blog of the same name, and her business website, Solutions Health and Wellness. I hope to get to know her better as she seems very professional and insightful.

A little later in the week, I'll supplement this note with a few things, including the Mayo Clinic study I referenced and some other cool things from the weekend.

Thanks again for joining us here on the blog. Please join us on the show as well.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Performance Wellness - Vol. II

I wanted to talk about a few things going into next week's show.

First, please note that we will be at a temporarily new time. The show on May 24th will broadcast on our Blog Talk Radio location at 1:30 Eastern, 12:30 Central.

Second is the reason for the new time - I'm going to be in Pennsylvania taking a Performance Wellness course!

Third, I wanted to highlight the Performance Wellness website.

It is an incredibly well written and well organized site that covers all aspects of Performance Wellness. We discussed Performance Wellness a lot on today’s show(Listen), although in a lot of ways we just scratched the surface. Please take the time to check out the website for the world of great opportunities Dr. Montello can provide.

So join us this Saturday for our show!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

May 17, 2008 Show - Performance Wellness

I am so excited about this week's show! Today, I had Dr. Louise Montello as a guest to talk about Performance Wellness and Essential Musical Intelligence. (Listen to the show).

She actually does music therapy for musicians!

Most music therapists get asked whether music therapy is therapy for sick musicians and we explain that, no, you don't have to be a musician to receive music therapy. We usually have to explain further that music therapy is the enhancement of human capabilities through the planned use of music on human brain functioning. Meaning that music therapy address cognitive, speech/language, and sensorimotor rehabilitation.

However, musicians also have physical and emotional issues that can be healed by music therapy. We had a great introduction to ways to identify and address these issues in the show.

To learn more about Performance Wellness music therapy and hear the great discussion we had with her - including some great questions from the chatroom - Listen to the archived show.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Why would someone need music therapy?

On the May 10, 2008 show, we discussed who might benefit from music therapy, among other things. Listen to the show by clicking here.

Music therapy may be beneficial for people who:
  • are low-functioning and do not respond to other interventions/activities
  • do not attend or participate in other interventions/activities
  • have changed physical, cognitive, or social functioning
  • have cognitive deficits and are not able to socialize appropriately
  • have physical deficits and are not making progress in physical/occupational therapy
  • have a speech/language disorder and is not making progress in speech therapy
  • are depressed/anxious and is not able to participate in psychological services
  • do not comply with therapy
  • have behavior problems
  • have high blood pressure that is difficult to manage with meds alone
  • have difficulty sleeping at night
  • are on hospice care
  • are not making progress in school
For more details about this topic, listen to the archives or call in to next week's show. You may also leave a comment here.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

May 10, 2008 Show - Referrals

On today's show, we are going to talk about Music Therapy referrals - when they are appropriate, why to make or seek a referral, and how to get music therapy. You can listen to the show by clicking here.

Referrals work differently in different settings, so if you have a question about how to get music therapy in a specific setting, please call in at 646-652-2850 at 5:00 p.m. ET/4:00 p.m. CT.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Drum Circles

This week's show (archived here) attempted to answer questions about Drum Circles, specifically, "When is a drum circle appropriate, and why is it a better choice than other therapies in specific situations?"

Active music making influences our thoughts and feelings differently from passive music listening. Active music making expands our mental abilities, helps to relieve stress through the focus and awareness of the whole person, and helps create positive self regard.
Drumming is a great way to participate in active music making. Drumming is accessible to all skill levels. Group drumming is an ancient healing practice and is not about skill level, technique or showing off.

Drum circles are not necessarily music therapy. Drum circles are oriented around building a social community, recreational music making, and a sense of individual accomplishment. A music therapist may use a drum circle to foster growth and development in functional domains, such as social, physical, or communicative goals. So a drum circle does not have to be led by a music therapist and a participant may find it therapeutic. However, in order for a drum circle to be music therapy, it must be led by a music therapist who is using the drum circle to reach specific goals for a specific reason.

You can find more information on this topic in Susan Gardstrom's book, Music Therapy Improvisation for Groups: Essential Music Competencies, published by Barcelona.

You can also attend a Drum Circle Music Workshop with Kalani. For more information, go to

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Inaugural Show - May 3, 2008

The Music Therapy Show will broadcast its first official show today, Saturday, May 3, 2008 at 4:00 pm Central, 5:00 pm Eastern. Please listen to the show on Blog Talk Radio and call in to join the conversation: (646) 652-2850. You can also log in to Blog Talk Radio to participate in the chat. I won't be able to monitor the chat during the show, but I will respond to the chat immediately following the show.

Today's show will introduce the purpose of the show, who I am, and discuss Drum Circles and any other question you call in to ask. If you can't listen to the show live, please send me a question to address on a future show at

Thanks for listening!