I am a board certified neurologic music therapist practicing in Long Beach, CA.   I received my music therapy credential from California State University, Northridge, CA.  More recently, I participated in the Neurologic Music Therapy Training Institute at Colorado State University, under the direction of Dr. Michael Thaut. Individual music therapy sessions are available in the Long Beach/ South Bay area.

If you would like to inquire about music therapy services for your child or a loved one, please write  kasummer@gmail.com.

WHAT IS MUSIC THERAPY?

Music therapy is an established  health care profession that uses music to address physical, emotional, cognitive and social needs of individuals of all ages. Music therapy improves the quality of life for persons who are well and meets the needs of children and adults with disabilities or illnesses. Music therapy interventions can be designed to

  • promote wellness
  • manage stress029
  • alleviate pain
  • express feelings
  • enhance memory
  • improve communication
  • promote physical rehabilitation

Research in music therapy supports its effectiveness in a wide variety of health care and educational settings.

WHAT DO MUSIC THERAPISTS DO?

Music therapists assess emotional well-being, physical health, social functioning, communication abilities, and cognitive skills through musical responses; design music sessions for individuals and groups based on client needs using music improvisation, receptive music listening, song writing, lyric discussion, music and imagery, music performance, and learning through music; participate in interdisciplinary treatment planning, ongoing evaluation, and follow up.

WHO CAN BENEFIT FROM MUSIC THERAPY?

Children, adolescents, adults, and the elderly with mental health needs, developmental and learning disabilities, Alzheimer’s disease and other aging related conditions, substance abuse problems, brain injuries, physical disabilities, and acute and chronic pain, including mothers in labor.

MY CHILD HAS A DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITY. CAN MUSIC THERAPY HELP?

Music therapists work together with parents, teachers and other allied professionals to improve the health, education, and behavior of children with developmental disabilities.  Music therapy interventions are designed to help children reach their full potential by addressing each individual child’s area of need.  Children most often respond positively to music therapy because it is a fun and enjoyable activity.  A music therapist can be a valuable member of your child’s health and education team.

WHAT IS THE HISTORY OF MUSIC THERAPY AS A HEALTH PROFESSION?

The idea of music as a healing influence which could affect health and behavior is as least as old as the writings of Aristotle and Plato. The 20th century discipline began after World War I and World War II when community musicians of all types, both amateur and professional, went to Veterans hospitals around the country to play for the thousands of veterans suffering both physical and emotional trauma from the wars. The patients’ notable physical and emotional responses to music led the doctors and nurses to request the hiring of musicians by the hospitals. It was soon evident that the hospital musicians needed some prior training before entering the facility and so the demand grew for a college curriculum. The first music therapy degree program in the world, founded at Michigan State University in 1944, celebrated its 50th anniversary in 1994. The American Music Therapy Association was founded in 1998 as a union of the National Association for Music Therapy and the American Association for Music therapy.

IS THERE RESEARCH TO SUPPORT MUSIC THERAPY?

The American Music Therapy Association promotes a vast amount of research exploring the benefits of music as therapy through publication of the Journal of Music Therapy, Music Therapy Perspectives and other sources. A substantial body of literature exists to support the effectiveness of music therapy.

WHAT IS NEUROLOGIC MUSIC THERAPY?

Neurologic Music Therapy Is:

A research–based system of standardized clinical techniques for

  • Sensorimotor training
  • Speech/language training
  • Cognitive training

Neurologic Music Therapy is defined as the therapeutic application of music to cognitive, sensory, and motor dysfunctions due to neurologic disease of the human nervous system.

NMT is based on a neuroscience model of music perception and production and the influence of music on functional changes in nonmusical brain and behavior functions.

Treatment techniques in NMT are based on scientific research and are directed towards functional therapeutic goals.

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