Thursday, February 17, 2011

February 18, 2011 - Music Therapy and Disorders of Consciousness

This week I am pleased to discuss the Music Therapy and Disorders of Consciousness seminar that I attended last Friday. This was a fantastic seminar and I have the organizers of the seminar as guests this week: Jennifer Townsend, Kristen O'Grady, and James Maxson.

The one-day event featured prominent therapists and professional speakers who accepted Elizabeth Seton Pediatric Center’s invitation to participate in the one-day event and to share their views and experience on a variety of topics related to the care of people in low awareness states, including:
  • The importance of relationship
  • Techniques and interventions for working with infants at risk for low awareness states in the NICU
  • The use of multisensory stimulation
  • Neuroaesthetics
  • Past work of Mary Boyle, a leading figure in music therapy and disorders of consciousness
  • The role of clinical intuition in working with people in low awareness states

The Music Therapy team at Elizabeth Seton Pediatric Center consists of:

Jennifer Townsend MMT, MT-BC, CCLS, Neurologic Music Therapy Fellow holds a bachelor’s degree in music therapy from Sam Houston State University and a master’s degree in music therapy from Temple University. She is also a fellow of the Robert J. Unkefer Academy of Neurologic Music Therapists. Jennifer is the coordinator of music therapy services and has been working at the Elizabeth Seton Pediatric Center for 5 years during which time she has secured grant funding and developed innovative programming to promote music therapy services. She is a dually certified as a child life specialist and embraces an interdisciplinary model of holistic practice.

Kristen O’Grady MA, MT-BC has been working as a music therapist at the Elizabeth Seton Pediatric Center since 2004. She received her bachelor’s degree in music therapy from Montclair State University and her master’s degree in music therapy from New York University. Kristen will assume the role as President of the Mid-Atlantic Region of the American Music Therapy Association this year.

James Maxson MMT, MT-BC, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit music therapist has been working as a music therapist at the Elizabeth Seton Pediatric Center in New York City since 2009. He also works as a music therapist at The Music Therapy Institute at the Westchester Conservatory of Music. James received his masters in music therapy from the University of Florida and his bachelors in music composition from Ithaca College.

To learn more about the music therapy program at Elizabeth Seton Pediatric Center please go to our website at You can also learn about the pediatric center by going to

Listen LIVE at 12 noon EST/11 am CST/10 am MST/9 am PST or find the archived show here. You can also subscribe via iTunes.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

February 11, 2011 - No Show Today

I am taking off this Friday to attend the Music Therapy and Disorders of Consciousness Symposium.

But you can still hear me talk about music therapy (my favorite topic!) on Wellness for the Real World with Dr. Veronica Anderson. This episode is called "Can Music Heal? The Ohio Players Weigh In".

The first segment featured Clarence "Chet" Willis and "HarryO" McCloud from The Ohio Players talking about how playing and listening to music helped them recover from health problems. Their responses weren't very coherent, but it was interesting to hear them speak and to listen to clips from their songs.

In the next segment, Karina Lewis, a psychotherapist who works with animals and music. In the interview, she indicated that she worked with an actual music therapist and knew about the American Music Therapy Association. She talked about The Mirror Effect and how horses reflect the emotions of people. Her bio states that she is "a trainer with her Master's degree in psychology". She somehow tied music and riding horses together as a therapeutic tool and therefore was an "expert" in music therapy.

The third segment featured Sharon Ruben, author of Awakening Ashley: Mozart Knocks Autism On Its Ear. She did know and state that what she was talking about is Listening Programs, not music therapy. Apparently, her daughter was "cured" of autism through a listening program that I suspect was related to the Tomatis Method. She has developed her own listening program called Lollipop Listening Therapy. Her theory is that ADHD and Autism affect people because the muscles that vibrate the bones in the inner ear are too weak.

Finally, I got to speak in the fourth segment. I did my best to clarify some of the prior misconceptions about music therapy. I also defined music therapy and gave real-life examples and explained real research from music therapy. And I got the last word!

I would love to know what you think about what was presented on this show. Leave me a comment and let me know!

I'll be back next week to talk to you live about REAL music therapy!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

February 4, 2011 - Happy Birthday, Music Therapy Tween!

The Music Therapy Show is celebrating the second anniversary of the Music Therapy Tween, and the 31st birthday of Michelle Erfurt, MT-BC. This week, we welcome Michelle as our guest to talk about her blogging and music therapy adventures.

Michelle provides music therapy services at Treasure Coast Hospice through her private practice: Erfurt Music Therapy, Inc. She also writes for the blog - a blog that shares tips and thoughts for the traveling professional AND maintains the - a resource of music related services, products and information.
Michelle has been involved in the development of Wade Richards book: Richards Modified
Tuning for Adapted Guitar and Rachel Rambach’s first Listen & Learn Songbook.

Contact Information -
Michelle Erfurt, MT-BC
Phone: 614-832-8664
Twitter: @michelleerfurt
Facebook: michelleerfurt
Resource List:

Listen live at 12 noon Eastern, 11 am Central, 10 am Mountain, 9 am Pacific. Or check out the archives here or subscribe through iTunes. Leave a comment here and let me know what you think of the show!