Welcome, Anna!

Metro Music Therapy is happy to introduce our newest team member, Anna Kiefer! Anna made the recent move from Pittsburgh, PA to join our MMT staff. Learn a little more about Anna down below…

Originally from Waycross, GA, Anna earned her degree in music therapy from The University of Georgia. Upon completion of her schooling, Anna interned at Therabeat, Inc. located in Woodstock, GA where she had the opportunity to work with individuals of all ages and abilities. Anna has experience working with the special needs population as well as group settings for memory care/assisted living facilities and children in daycare. Anna provides adaptive lessons for voice, piano, ukulele, and guitar also! 

When asked what she is looking forward to most about joining the MMT team, Anna stated “she is excited to work with people of all ages and backgrounds around the metro Atlanta area.” Anna is a fun-loving spirit who enjoys being silly when working with children!

Outside of her music therapy work, Anna loves cooking dates and playing tennis with her husband. Her playlist includes the Beatles, Avett Brothers, and Lake Street Dive. While she doesn’t have any pets, Anna hopes to soon adopt a dog to add to her new Georgia home. 

One fun fact about Anna is that she enjoys refurbishing old, used furniture that she finds online as part of a newly discovered “quarantine hobby!” 

We are thrilled to have Anna join our music therapy team! Click on the  “Our Team” tab on our website to read Anna’s bio. 

Sing, Strum, & Play!

Music therapists use numerous props and instruments when working one-on-one and in group sessions. Music therapists must be proficient on multiple instruments. Piano, guitar, percussion, and voice are most commonly used and studied. Years of training are needed to ensure high quality services are being provided.  

The American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) has established competency-based standards ensuring quality education and clinical training requirements are met. Music therapists are required to compose songs with simple accompaniment, arrange and transpose music compositions to fit the clients vocal range, utilize multiple accompanying patterns on all instruments used, and understand varying genres of music to best emulate their sounds and styles vocally and instrumentally. High- caliber musicianship and creative facilitation makes Metro a winning combination! 

Interested in Music Lessons?

Did you know that Metro offers adaptive music lessons? Whether you or your family member are wanting to learn a new skill or find a creative outlet, we’re here to help! Our talented team teaches voice, guitar, piano, and ukulele lessons to people of all ages. 

At Metro, we personalize all lessons to meet the individual’s needs. Our music therapy background and training allows us to focus on any physical, emotional, cognitive, or social adaptation needs while enjoying the process of learning a new instrument! If music lessons interest you, please give us a call at (404) 510-3799 or email the director, Mallory Even, at mallory@metromusictherapyga.com.

We would love to serve you! 

Music Therapy Fun Facts!

 

Music therapy is an often foreign profession to many and is usually followed up with the question, “What is music therapy and how does it work?.” The field continues to grow nationwide. We take pride in explaining our awesome career and love to see the look on peoples faces when they better understand what we do. Here are a few fun facts about music therapy!

1. Over 1.6 million people served each year

Music therapists around the world have the privilege of serving over 1.6 million people per year in numerous settings. This number continues to increase annually thanks to media coverage, word of mouth, and research. We look forward to watching this number rise in the years to come!

2.  Music therapy is an accredited healthcare profession

The music therapy profession began in the 1940’s when musicians were providing music for soldiers experiencing emotional and physical traumas. Since then, the field of music therapy has grown tremendously and requires schooling, training, and certification.

To become a professional music therapist, one must hold a bachelor’s degree as well as complete a clinical internship followed by 1200 clinical hours of post-internship work. Once completed, music therapists are eligible to sit for the national board exam to become a credentialed professional. Some states also require individual state licensure to practice music therapy.

3. No client musical background or training is necessary

All music therapy sessions are centered around the client and their talents and abilities. Our goal is to focus the musical experience around the client while fully being involved and enjoying the process of music-making. Music therapists design the sessions to ensure the client is successful in all capacities despite musical training or background. No matter the musical preference or understanding, music therapy can have a healing effect on all. People often state that they “aren’t musicians,” but we all have an innate response to rhythm and music found in our bodies; our heart beat, breathing, walking…all rhythmic!

4. Music therapy can benefit all ages

From the NICU to hospice and palliative care, music therapy is available to all ages. Music therapy is often stereotyped toward children only. Although true, we provide services to SO many other populations! We can be found in eldercare facilities, school settings, mental health facilities, adult day programs, and medical facilities just to name a few. We are proud to serve all ages and needs here at MMT!

5. Music therapy is evidence-based and research-supported

Music therapy is a fun, non-invasive tool to achieve therapeutic goals. Music therapy can benefit us spiritually, emotionally, cognitively, and physically. Music therapists reference evidence-based research to determine the best possible interventions to use to effectively meet the individualized needs of our clients. This research allows us to continue growing as a profession and share the effectiveness with other professions, treatment team members, and individuals we encounter.

The American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) contains information on accessing research articles and other details regarding music therapy as a profession on their website. Googling “music therapy” will also give various resources toward current research, real-life stories, and information regarding its effectiveness backed by science.

 

2020 Gift Guide!

 

We frequently have parents and grandparents ask us for recommendations of instruments and other gifts for their loved ones who participate in music therapy or music lessons with us.

In order to make 2020 a bit easier this year, we are proud to present our
2020 Gift Guide for the music lover in your life!

Happy Shopping!

MMT SINGING GRAMS:

  • During this season of isolation, send the gift of connection and community through song to a loved one, friend, or co-worker! {Order here}

STUDIO PTC GIFT CARDS:

  • Studio PTC Gift Cards come in increments of 4 lessons, and can be purchased simply by emailing us @ mallory @ metromusictherapyga.com!

BEGINNER GUITARS:

INTERMEDIATE + ADVANCED GUITARS:

UKULELES:

KEYBOARDS // DIGITAL PIANOS:
{You want 88 weighted keys, a stand, a sustain pedal,
and the least amount of extra buttons possible!}

AUXILLARY PERCUSSION:

Items to avoid: anything sold in a toy store or that looks and feels like a toy! If the music lover in your life wants to learn to how to play an instrument, the best way to keep them motivated is to make sure they learn on a quality instrument that sounds nice when played, and that will stay in tune! 

April Music & Movement!

Another month at home …

We can do this!
Our team is excited to offer another chance to make music with us
through an online platform throughout the month of April!

Here’s the Deal:

  • Geared towards children ages 0-5
  • All classes ONLINE!
  • Singing, dancing, counting, learning letters, making animal noises, and meeting new friends!
  • $80 for 8 classes

 

MMT & COVID-19

We are thrilled to be safely offering 1:1 music therapy sessions and music lessons at our office in Peachtree Corners, GA!

Please read through the following information carefully to help you decide if you would like to resume or begin in-person sessions at our clinic space, “Studio PTC.” If the information below does not sound like the right fit for your family, we are happy to continue virtual music therapy with you.

Please understand that, if at any time, health officials make recommendations or mandates to close our offices, we will comply and resume all services virtually. If you are utilizing third-party funding for services, please understand that they may not reimburse for telehealth services, and payment responsibility falls on the client and/or their family. 

STUDIO SAFETY PRECAUTIONS:

  • Our Studio schedule will allow for 15 minutes in between each session, unless the sessions are for back-to-back family members who live in the same household
  • Prior to each session, our team will clean the touched surfaces in the studio and doorknobs and will then wash their hands
  • For your safety, our therapists will be wearing masks to conduct each session
  • For our therapists’ safety, we are requiring that clients also wear masks
  • For everyone’s safety, we ask all clients to maintain social distancing (6 ft of space) at all times while in our studio space
  • If the client does not have a mask when arriving for their session, we may be able to provide one for them, but there is no guarantee that we will have an ample supply every time this may occur. If we do not have a mask for them to wear, the client will not be able to participate in music therapy that day
  • All clients will be asked to sign this waiver prior to resuming or beginning in-person services

ARRIVAL & WAITING:

  • When you arrive for your session, please remain in the car until your therapist opens the outside door (closest to the studio) to wave the client in
  • Our waiting room is currently closed – please wait in your car during the client’s session
  • Our therapists will be taking each client’s temperature with a touch-free thermometer prior to bringing them into the studio. If the client’s temperature is over 99 degrees, they will be re-checked in one minute, and if the temperature remains over 99 degrees, the client will be sent back to the car and will not be able to participate in the session that day
  • Each client will be asked to use hand sanitizer upon entering and exiting the studio
  • If you would like to watch the session from your car, our therapists can provide you with a Zoom link which will allow you to see into the Studio during the session
  • When each session is over, our therapists will walk the client back out of the Studio and will ensure the client gets into their caregivers’ car safely
  • RESTROOMS: Our offices are in a shared suite space, and the restrooms in the building are used by all tenants and their potential visitors. The Metro Music Therapy staff are not responsible for cleaning this shared space. We recommend only using the restroom if an emergency, and please understand that you do so at your own risk. If restrooms do need to be used, children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult

METRO MUSIC THERAPY STANDARD ILLNESS & ATTENDANCE POLICIES:

Our therapists work with medically fragile clients, and we do not want to carry any illnesses to other families, infect ourselves, or our own families. If the client is sick, please cancel your session by contacting your therapist directly. It is ideal and highly preferred that you cancel your session with at least 12 hours’ notice; however, even short notice is better than no notice which allows our therapists to avoid unnecessary travel to and from our offices. If your therapist is notified about the cancellation at least 12 hours before your scheduled session time, you will not be charged a “no-show” fee for your session (full session rate). It is understood that there are emergency situations and acute illnesses that can occur and these situations will be handled on a case by case basis. The Board of Health considers the following signs/symptoms as indications of communicable illness/disease: vomiting, diarrhea, rash/swelling, fever over 100◦, sore throat, red or running eyes. Please be sure the client is symptom-free for at least 7 days before resuming in-person sessions.

  • If the client or anyone living in the same home has been exposed to or tested positive for COVID-19, you have an obligation to let your therapist know immediately, and postpone in-person sessions for at least 14 days.
  • If clients/families do need to self-quarantine, virtual sessions are always an option!

PREVENTION: 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has published a list of things that you can do to help prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  • Everyone 2 years of age and older should wear a mask in public settings and when they are around people who do not live in their household
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
  • If available, soap and water should be used preferentially over hand sanitizer if hands are visibly dirty
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Stay home when you are sick (please see our current illness policy if you have any questions)
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe

HEALTH PRECAUTIONS TAKEN BY OUR STAFF:

Our staff always operate by the following health precautions and procedures:

  • Washing hands before and after each session, after eating, using the restroom, touching their face, or when their hands are visibly dirty
  • Utilizing hand sanitizer in lieu of soap and water in all of the above situations only if soap and water are not present
  • Sanitizing instruments in between each lesson
  • Staying home and cancelling sessions if they are sick
  • Following all additional CDC standards listed in the Prevention Section above
  • If your therapist or anyone living in the same home has been exposed to or tested positive for COVID-19, we have an obligation to let you know immediately, and postpone sessions for at least 14 days.

If you have any questions for myself or our team, please reach out any time.

Your partner in good health,

 

 

 


Mallory Even, LPMT, MT-BC, NICU MT

Founder & CEO, Metro Music Therapy & Studio PTC
mallory@metromusictherapyga.com

Welcome to Studio PTC!

Did you hear the news?
Studio PTC is officially open for business, and we couldn’t be more excited!


With a brand new space, we’re bound for brand new experiences, and we hope to offer the same to our brand new students! A world of music, exploration, and learning awaits in an environment we’re determined to make as motivating, rewarding, and downright fun as possible.
So what might you expect to find at Studio PTC?

First Things First: Let’s Boogie.
I think it says a lot about our team – and the type of instructional space this is turning out to be – that one of the first things to happen inside Studio PTC has been affectionately dubbed the #BlueWallBoogie.

Turning an empty room into a cozy and welcoming learning environment takes a bit of imagination and – sometimes – a bit of paint. And what better color for our brand new studio than “Metro Music Therapy Blue?”

Painting day – in true MMT fashion – became a dance party as the whole crew boogied away against the backdrop of a freshly blue-ified wall. Thus the #BlueWallBoogie was born, and we highly encourage any students, family, visitors, etc. to join in the dance craze that’s sweeping the nation (or, you know, Peachtree Corners, GA).


Here at Studio PTC, we engage in only the most serious and stoic of interactions.
Clearly.

Out-of-the-Box Learning
We know that not every student fits into the “box” that general music instruction may presuppose. Our sincere goal is to adapt our teaching methods to suit the needs of any learner. So we made it a priority to draft a general music curriculum that we can easily present in a variety of ways – both “traditional” and “unorthodox.”
If a student is a “typical” learner… great! We’ll have a blast making music together!
If a student is an “out-of-the-box” learner… great!
We’ll have a blast making music together, just the same!

Because each of us here at Metro Music Therapy is a Board-Certified Music Therapist, we all have some practice in making music accessible, engaging, and fun for people of all ages and learning styles. We’ll be bringing that experience with us into every bit of music instruction at Studio PTC.
Will it always look like your typical music lesson? Probably not.
And that’s the way we like it!

Take a look at this sophisticated graph.

Here you’ll see the “box” of expectations for music lessons.
If you look closely, there is also a happy chick.
The chick is not inside the box. It’s a metaphor, see?
We are the chick. We are out of the box.
At Studio PTC, a slogan and social media hashtag of ours is as follows:
#BeTheChick

Lights… Instruments… Music!
So what kind of music lessons do we offer at Studio PTC?
We’re glad you asked!

For students as young as Kindergarten, we recommend starting with Music Fundamentals. In these lessons, we’ll focus on all the fundamental musical concepts and skills that lay a foundation for everything to come. That means rhythm, dynamics, tempo, melody, music reading, voice, and piano exploration – Fun stuff!

After Music Fundamentals, students 2nd grade and above are invited to experience more fully the wonderful world of the Piano – a personal favorite, I have to say! During Piano lessons (as in all of our lessons), we’ll combine our curriculum with the students’ favorite music. After all, the music a student already loves will be the most exciting for him/her to learn!

Once a student has reached 4th grade, they’ll likely have developed their fine and gross motor skills to a point that they’re ready to try a stringed instrument – like Guitar or Ukulele! This is also the minimum age we recommend for Voice Instruction. If you’re wondering: “Why wait until 4th Grade?
We want our students to feel successful as they begin their musical journeys, so we’d hate to jump into something too soon before they’re ready! As such, voice lessons beginning before age 12 will focus mostly on vocal exploration, choosing appropriate repertoire, and caring for the voice.

Whether it’s Music Fundamentals, Piano, Guitar, Ukulele, or Voice —
Whatever the avenue, we believe that making music is a life-giving experience that anyone can enjoy.
We want to help our students do just that!

So drop on by!
Do a #BlueWallBoogie!
Remember to #BeTheChick!
There’s good times a-plenty to be had at #StudioPTC.
We’ll see you there!

2018-04-24T04:29:00+00:00April 24th, 2018|Adaptive Lessons, Blog, For the Music Therapist, Pediatric|

Born to Rock + A Very Merry Moving Day

Friday was a big day for the MMT Team!

Our morning was spent with a remarkably large group of bonafide rockstars – namely, the students of Simpson Elementary School! We were so excited to be there with these amazing kids to celebrate Exceptional Children’s Week. All week long, March 5 – 9, schools around the country celebrated students with exceptionalities and the families and professionals who serve, love, and support them. The theme of the week at Simpson was “Born to Rock!” and we had a chance to join in the fun with some instruments, singing, and dancing!

We were also excited to be sporting our new team “jerseys!”

First up, Bianca showed us how to “Shake It Off,” with several of the students using their brand new shakers. The whole crowd clapped, patted, and shook along, but we had to listen carefully – sometimes the instructions got tricky as they sped up!

Next, Kevin demonstrated how to get the instruments of a rock band going with some “Air Guitar” (and “Air” piano, drum, and violin) while the rest of the team provided a looping musical backdrop – all to create the song, “In the Jungle (The Lion Sleeps Tonight).” We even had some technical difficulties, like a real rock band!

Then Maria taught us how to use ASL to sign “please,” “thank you,” and “you’re welcome” using a familiar tune from Disney’s Moana. Everyone sang and signed along to practice, and Maria even rapped for us, a la Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson (a.k.a. Maui)! So I believe what we’re trying to say to Maria is… thank you. (“You’re Welcome!”)

Camila kept us on our toes with a “freeze” dance set to Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” Whenever the music paused, everyone had to give their best pose to match whichever poster was suddenly flipped over. Things got even more interesting (and hilarious) when we had to do two – or even four! – poses at the same time!

All day long, the students were practicing their “Superhero,” “Dab,” “Selfie,” and “Hippie” poses.
To be honest, we were too!

Finally, Laura led us in some echo singing to the Jackson 5’s “A-B-C.” It was a school event, so why not do a little bit of learning while we sing? The students were divided into three groups to try and outdo one another with a hearty “A-B-C,” “1-2-3,” or “DO-RE-MI!”

We had such a blast rocking out with our new friends at Simpson Elementary. They are exceptional, every one of them, and we couldn’t be more thankful for the opportunity to celebrate them!

And for us, the excitement didn’t stop there!

After a team lunch at La Parilla, we had work to do, organizing, packing, and…

…wait for it…

…Moving!

In case you haven’t heard, Metro Music Therapy just moved into a new office space in Peachtree Corners, complete with a brand new Studio Room, where we’ll soon be able to offer music lessons to meet the needs of all learners! More details are on the way!

We can’t wait to welcome our students to Studio PTC!


2018-03-13T18:40:55+00:00March 13th, 2018|Adaptive Lessons, Blog, Holidays, Music Therapy, news, Pediatric|

Adapted Lessons vs. Music Therapy: What’s the Difference?

As a Music Therapist, I (along with many others, I’m sure) often hear the following question: “So, what do you do? Do you teach music to your clients?” And while Music Therapy most often looks different than what would be called a “music lesson”, there are certainly situations in which the teaching of a new instrument within a therapeutic relationship can be immensely beneficial. On the other hand, when I tell people that I do also teach “adapted piano lessons”, I receive another logical question: “What does that mean?” And once again, you may find therapeutic elements within an Adapted Lesson, especially when taught by a Board-Certified Music Therapist. Where, then, is the line? How do you decide whether what’s taking place is a lesson or a therapy session? The confusion is understandable. Hence, this blog post! My hope is to offer a quick and simple explanation of the differences between Adapted Lessons and Music Therapy. Ready?

The easiest way to differentiate between Adapted Lessons and Music Therapy (in my mind) is to take a look at your primary goal, and what I like to call “bonus prizes” – secondary effects, also beneficial, that may result from (and aid the process of) working toward said primary goal.

In Adapted Lessons, the Primary Goal is musical.
For example: “I want to learn how to play the piano.”
The “bonus prizes” are non-musical, and may include: improved cognitive functioning, improved fine motor skills, increased self-esteem, increased focus and sustained attention, etc.

In Music Therapy, the Primary Goal(s) is (are) non-musical.
For example: “I want to improve fine motor skills [perhaps for a client with Parkinson’s Disease], thereby enhancing my overall quality of life.”
The “bonus prizes” are musical, and may include: learning to play piano or guitar in the pursuit of practicing fine motor skills, learning to read music, etc.

One more thing to mention: Why the word “adapted”? An adapted piano lesson, as we’ve just discussed, has the same primary goal as any other piano lesson: to teach the student how to play the piano! The word “adapted” simply indicates that the curriculum – the repertoire, the teaching methods, the style of written music, etc. – has been “adapted” to suit the needs of the student. Maybe the student has autism, quickly becomes overstimulated, and could really use a dance break every 5 minutes. Maybe the student has a physical disability that requires repertoire to suit his or her capabilities (no octaves, for example). Whatever the case, the teacher incorporates adaptations to help each individual learn. Does that sound like what any piano teacher would do with a wide variety of students? It should! Teachers do this all the time with their typically developing students! Music Therapists are often preferred for Adapted Lessons, though, simply due to training and experience with a range of disabilities and needs, as well as an understanding of how music affects the brain and the body. Think of it like the difference between a Third Grade teacher who recognizes and responds to the learning styles of each student, and a Special Education teacher who has a specialty in particular styles of learning regarding intellectual and developmental disabilities.

So… Adapted Lessons vs. Music Therapy.
Hopefully the difference is starting to become clear in your mind, but let’s go through a few examples, just to practice!

1) Johnny is a bright young boy with down syndrome who loves music. He has expressed interest in the guitar, and regularly asks his mom if he can learn. Johnny’s mom has reached out to a Music Therapist.
Which are we looking at here? Music Therapy or Adapted Lessons?
… if you said Adapted Lessons, that’s right! Johnny’s primary goal is to learn the guitar. The curriculum may need to be adapted due to the physical and cognitive characteristics of down syndrome, as well as Johnny’s individual preferences and learning style.

2) Claire is a bright young girl with autism who loves music. Her mom has noticed that, although Claire rarely speaks using more than one- or two-word phrases, she will sing along to an entire song on the radio. Claire’s mom has reached out to a Music Therapist.
Which are we looking at here? Music Therapy or Adapted Lessons?
… if you said Music Therapy, that’s right! Claire’s primary goal is to increase communication. Lots of singing will be done in her music therapy sessions, but these are not “voice lessons” – singing will be used as a vehicle to promote communication outside of music. Whether or not Claire sings with correct pitch is irrelevant!

Make sense? I hope so! If you ever get confused between Music Therapy and Adapted Lessons, just look for that Primary Goal!

This has been a message from your friendly neighborhood Music Therapist.

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