Early Childhood Educators about Collaboration
Dr. Petra Kern, USA
In the U.S., a music therapist may collaborate with an early childhood educator as contracting partner or as part of an interdisciplinary team. The music therapist may oﬀer environmental modifications (e.g., musical playgrounds), musical curriculum adaptations (e.g., circle time activities), or systematic music-based strategies (e.g., peer-mediated song interventions) to support children with disabilities as they participate in a broad range of activities and contexts. Based on the child’s abilities, preferences, and interest, and identified needs, a music therapist may also oﬀer direct services within a childcare program. In collaboration with all team members, the music therapist then focuses on functional and measurable goals (e.g., pre-academic concepts, self-regulation, or social competence) and engages the child in active learning through music. Often early childhood educators collaborate during the music therapy sessions by providing support to the child with disabilities. Maximizing learning for the target child, the music therapist may also coach the early childhood educator to providing music-based learning opportunities within and across activities and routines.
Parents about the Benefits of Music Therapy Interventions
WHAT SHOULD [...] KNOW
imagine 7(1), 2016
In Japan, parents of children with disabilities put forth great eﬀort towards finding the best available educational and therapeutic services for their child. However, they may not have heard about music therapy as a viable treatment option or don’t have a clear understanding of what it is and how it can benefit their child. Parents should know that music therapists strive to create a natural and motivating learning environment, which diﬀers from traditional therapies where children might be pulled out in a special room and feel separated or even stressed. In music therapy sessions, children are able to learn outside the constraints of a typical therapy setting. That said, parents should be aware that music therapy goes beyond oﬀering fun music experiences for their child. Music therapists conduct assessments to determine the abilities and needs of each child, set therapeutic goals accordingly, and plan sessions to address the identified goals. Hence, music therapy is a valuable treatment option for children with disabilities – something parents in Japan should consider.
Kumi Sato, Japan