Saturday, April 30, 2011


The last few days have been very busy music therapy-wise!  I have shared with Edna, Rhonda, Derrick, Margaret, John and Kathleen about music therapy.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Jim, Stephanie, Alex, Dan, Paula, Linda and Teresa all heard my music therapy elevator speech today.  Welcome aboard!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Dr. Oz on Singing - The Oregonian April 20, 2011

Dr. Oz says singing can:
1)  Lower your blood pressure

2)  Boost your "feel good" hormone -- oxytocin

3)  Help you breathe better

4)  Find serenity after cancer

5)  Rewire the brain after stroke

Also, says Dr. Oz, singing can promote everyday health and well being, increasing immunity, reducing stress, easing anxiety and making you generally feel happier.  So do some singing today!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Maintaining the Music Therapist - Board Certified Credential

When you hire an MT-BC, you  can be assured your music therapist engages in mandatory continuing education and professional experiences, demonstrates competence and growth in the current practice of music therapy, and adheres to a code of professional practice which includes a mechanism for revoking the MT-BC credential for the protection of the public.  Music therapists must re-certify every five years, ensuring that they continue to offer the most professional, up-to-date treatments available in the field.


Now there are 152 people in the Vancouver WA area who know what music therapy is and how it differs from music performance and music education (all of which I have been involved in professionally).  Elaine, M., Susan and Stephanie join the ranks of the music therapy aware!  Thanks to all of you for your interest and for the wonderful work you do with children.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Art and Music Camp for children with special needs

I am working on a project to create an art and music day camp for children with special needs.  The camp will be held June 13, 14 and 15 from 9:00 to 11:00 am at St. Andrew Christian Preschool in Orchards, WA.  Please contact me if you or someone you know might be interested in enrolling their child.  Limit 5 children;  ages 4 and 5.  Seeking an art therapist and an occupational therapist to partner with us.

Music Therapy and networking in Clark County

As I continue in my quest to talk to 1,000 people in Clark County about music therapy, I am interested in networking with other professionals in my area.  I am looking into the Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce, East Vancouver Business Association, Women in Networking, and Christian Chamber of Commerce.  Any other ideas?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Music Therapy and Traumatic Brain Injury

Music therapy can aid in regaining speech after Traumatic Brain Injury:

Advocating for Music Therapy

Yesterday I spent some time contacting my state legislators about music therapy, as recommended in a email I got from the Regulatory Affairs Associate of the Certification Board for Music Therapists. 
She recommended we contact our Washington State legislators regarding Washington HB 1087.  This bill has passed the Washington State house and heads to the Senate.  The bill specifically lists music therapy as a Medicaid Waiver home- and community-based service that addresses socialization and leisure for individuals with developmental disabilities.  I emailed Rep. Probst and thanked him for voting in favor, then wrote to Sen Benton to encourage him to vote in favor, too.  This is an important step in getting music therapy "on the books" in Washington State!

Monday, April 18, 2011


The Senior Connections 50+ Expo was a wonderful event this weekend at Vancouver's Hilton.  I spoke with at least 12 people about music therapy . . .  I lost count after a while.  What a fantastic resource for Clark County!  So many great exhibitors and sponsors. 

136 people in Clark County know about music therapy

I talked about music therapy with Cathy, Jeff, Charlie, Janet, Darrell, Michelle and Lance this weekend thanks to a Bravo Vancouver Chorale concert and the lovely wedding of a fellow music therapy student.  I enjoyed talking about MT with you, and also loved hearing about what you do!

"Music is said to have healing powers"

Check out Sunday's Parade magazine -- there is an article about musicians and artists at work in New York City in exchange for health care benefits.  The article by Rebecca Webber says, "Music is said to have healing powers," and the musicians "entertain, inspire and comfort people during stressful hospital visits."  Musicians also provide relaxation through breathing exercises or playing soothing music.  As a result, patients look forward to coming for treatment rather than dreading it.

Friday, April 15, 2011


I spoke with two beautiful, caring young women who work at a convalescent center here in Clark County about the power of music.  Thanks for taking the time to show me around and share a bit about the wonderful therapeutic work you do!


I had the privilege of talking to John, Cherie and Ben at a networking event today, plus gave a demo session for several families with preschoolers.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


This afternoon, another four people in Clark County heard about music therapy.  Three of them are wonderful and amazing employees of a local senior center.  Their passion for serving elders and those with disabilities was so inspiring!  We are truly lucky to have such caring people in our community.  And, as we were playing tone chimes, a gentleman approached and asked about them, and as it turns out he is such a believer in the power of music that he even uses words about the healing power of music as part of his email address!!

Make that 117

I spoke with a naturopath today about her work with children on the autism spectrum and AD/HD.  I shared with her the research about the effectiveness of music therapy in the treatment of autism, including improved social, communication, and musical skills.  She talked with me about the benefits of dairy-free and gluten-free diets for children and adults on the spectrum.


Thanks to the amazing networking events of the Greater Vancouver (WA) Chamber of Commerce, another 27 people in Clark County know about music therapy.  I love talking about the power of music!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

UpBeat Music Therapy Services Receives Grant!!

UpBeat Music Therapy Services LLC of Vancouver, WA, has received a grant from The Western Region of the American Music Therapy Association!  This grant will be used to help establish a tone chime choir in the Clark County, WA, area.  Tone chimes are lightweight aluminum instruments similar in sound to hand bells but simpler to learn and use.  Tone chimes are a wonderful way to make beautiful music with music therapy clients and students with limited musical knowledge.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Why should you hire an MT-BC?

Why should you be sure to hire a Board-Certified Music Therapist to serve your clients?  

Because the MT-BC credential ensures that the music therapist you hire to work with your clients or patients has the right to work within the scope of practice outlined by the CBMT (Certification Board for Music Therapists) and has passed the board certification exam measuring skills, knowledge and abilities necessary to competently practice in the field of music therapy.  This certification also ensures consumer protection for the public. 

Workplace Wellness Drum Circle

Thirty amazing people attended a drum circle at Clear Channel Portland this morning!  This was such a great start to the week.  We quickly found the groove and were off drumming and shaking!  We all got to begin our Monday with an energizing, uplifting 30-minute drum circle. 


Had a great talk about music therapy with a rep from the Vancouver WA Chamber of Commerce.

Thursday, April 7, 2011


I gave a presentation tonight at an Episcopal church in Vancouver, WA, as part of their Lenten series.  We sang, played instruments, reflected on the theme, and wrote a new chant!  So, I can add Shelly, Audrey, Barbara, Mary, Carol, Ken, Larry, Earle, Katherine and Mary Ellen to my list -- 10 more people in Clark County know about the benefits of music therapy ~

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


More people in Clark County, WA know about music therapy today -- thanks to the Vancouver Chamber of Commerce "Leads and Needs" meeting at Beaches this morning.  I got the chance to briefly talk about music therapy to the whole room -- about 50 people or so - and more in depth to: Maria, Jermaine, Hans, Todd, Grant, Tom and Kelley.  And I learned about their businesses, too.  Great people doing business in Vancouver, WA!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A Peaceful Song

Every school should have its own theme song!  I remember when my daughter attended preschool, they sang their school's song every day.  It brought them together and started the morning with singing!
I wrote a theme song for A Peaceful Path Montessori school in Vancouver, made a video recording of it and sent it to them.  I am happy to say the director loved it and can't wait to share it with her students when they return from spring break.  The words were contributed by the teachers themselves, who shared the ethos of the school with me.  The lyrics are:

We're walking, walking, on a peaceful path,
Loving every neighbor, helping every day
We're staying, staying, on our peaceful path,
Changing the world with our love.
Learning, Growing, Praying, Knowing,
Sharing God's love with everyone we meet.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Music Therapy and Autism

Research literature reports that most individuals diagnosed on the autism spectrum respond positively to musical experiences.  Because music is motivating and enjoyable, it is a very useful therapeutic tool.  Music can promote relaxation, self-expression, learning and relatedness, and can address multiple developmental needs at the same time.  Music is wonderfully flexible and adaptable, and can meet the client where he or she is.  Some typical outcomes in music therapy with children and adults with autism include:
  • Music therapy can enable communication, both verbal and non-verbal
  • Music therapy can encourage expression of emotions
  • Music is a universal language, providing a bridge between people
  • Music can stimulate brain functioning, since it is processed in both hemispheres
  • Music provides concrete, multi-sensory stimulation
  • Music can encourage movement activity, enhancing motor skills
UpBeat Music Therapy Services can come to your location to work on these and other skills with children or adults on the autism spectrum in the Vancouver, Washington area.

Music Therapy and Alzheimer's Disease

According to the American Music Therapy Association, music therapy is a powerful tool in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease.  I can help elders in Clark County, Washington, by using music therapy techniques, such as singing, instrument, play, movement, songwriting, improvisation and music-assisted relaxation.

The AMTA says, "Music therapy provides opportunities for:
  • Memory recall, contributing to reminiscence and life satisfaction
  • Positive changes in mood and emotional states
  • Sense of control over life through successful experiences
  • Awareness of self and environment which accompanies increased attention to music
  • Anxiety and stress reduction for older adult and caregiver
  • Nonpharmacological management of pain and discomfort
  • Stimulation which provokes interest even when no other approach is effective
  • Structure which promotes rhythmic and continuous movement or vocal fluency as an adjunct to physical rehabilitation
  • Emotional intimacy when spouses and families share creative music experiences
  • Social interaction with caregivers and families"

Sunday, April 3, 2011

WRAMTA conference

I just returned from a wonderful music therapy conference aboard the Queen Mary in Long Beach, California.  It was a weekend jam-packed with useful information and experiences about music therapy.  So many amazing therapists attended and shared their knowledge and expertise.  There was a large Oregon/SW Washington contingent there and we all shared dinner together while looking out at the harbor in the setting sun.  I attended a drumming workshop led by a wonderfully talented drummer, therapist and educator, and I also learned about marketing my music therapy business.  Another seminar I attended was led by two music therapists who work in medical settings in Phoenix, AZ and Salt Lake City.  The fellowship with other therapist was unparalleled.  I love conferences!