Adaptive Lessons

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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

 

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!

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!


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.

Adaptive Lessons coming to Vinings!

We are so thrilled to announce that, beginning in January 2017, we will be offering Adaptive Lessons at The Music Studio at Vinings!painted-piggies-on-piano

How do you know if Adaptive Lessons are right for your child? Here is our handy dandy checklist that you can use to find out:

  • Does your child love music?
  • Are they motivated by music?
  • Has your child struggled in music lessons before?
  • Does your child have learning differences?
  • Do you think your child would struggle with standard teaching styles?
  • Does your child have a formal diagnosis or IEP?

If you answered yes to 2 or more of the above questions, your child may thrive in Adaptive Music Lessons with our trained and qualified staff! All of our team members have a background in music therapy, which means that instead of a one-size-fits-all approach, we adapt our teaching style to best fit your child’s needs.

We still have a few openings for Saturday mornings, so call or email today to schedule!
404.579.8070
mallory@metromusictherapyga.com

Download our flyer here: adaptive-lessons-flyer

2016-12-12T16:43:38+00:00December 12th, 2016|Adaptive Lessons|
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