What does the Music & Memory Program Mean for MT-BCs?

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If you’re a music therapist, you’ve probably seen a video of Henry. (If you haven’t, you can watch it at http://musicandmemory.org/). Henry, an elderly gentleman diagnosed with dementia, initially sits in his wheelchair and is disengaged from his environment until he is given a pair of headphones and “his music.” You can see the transformation in Henry; where he was once unresponsive, he now vocalizes and moves to the music, and even answers questions after hearing some of “his music,” provided via an iPod from the Music & Memory Program. The film Alive Inside features Henry, among other residents, and shows how powerful personalized music can be for residents of nursing homes.

As MT-BCs, we know how powerful potential of personalized music for our clients. If you work in elder care you have seen first-hand these kinds of responses to music, and know that these responses, deemed “miraculous” by the Music & Memory Program, are typical outcomes for interventions provided by a Board Certified Music Therapist. It’s no surprise that the film Alive Inside has caused some controversy within the music therapy community, especially considering the amount of news coverage it has received. So, how should we, as a music therapy community, respond?

Introducing Erin Spring, MM, MT-BC

Erin Spring, MM, MT-BC | Mindstorm MonthlyErin has been a practicing, board-certified music therapist in central Ohio since 2007 and holds her bachelor and master degree’s in music therapy from Ohio University. Erin is currently the owner of Central Ohio Music Therapy, LLC, as well as an adjunct professor of music therapy at Ohio University. She is a neurologically trained music therapist serving a variety of populations, including the terminally ill, individuals with autism and developmental disabilities, patients receiving obstetric and general hospital care, children experiencing grief, and older adults. Currently, Erin has the honor of serving on the Ohio Department of Aging – Music & Memory Committee, and was a panelist with Dan Cohen, MSW, on the effects of music on memory and discussing the film Alive Inside during this past year’s National Conference.

During this webinar, Erin discusses:

  • 6:07 – Most impactful part of the film Alive Inside
  • 6:43 – How to differentiate the Music and Memory Program (receptive listening with iPods) from real music therapy
  • 14:17 – How to help a facility implement a Music & Memory program while educating and potentially implementing a music therapy program
  • 16:21 – An overview of the Music & Memory Program’s training and facility certification
  • 19:30 – What to do when providing professional consultation to a facility that is implementing a Music & Memory Program
  • 22:12 – Should I (a MT-BC) attend a certification training for Music & Memory?
  • 23:41 – Answers the question: “I work in hospice care, and one particular facility wants me to assist them in this music and memory program for my patient. Any suggestions on how to approach the facility in a positive manner as well as being an advocate for my patient? They are wanting to utilize this program for goals that I have not determined necessary for my patient at this point in her hospice care.
  • 25:17 – Why does the Music & Memory Program use an iPod shuffle vs other devices?
  • 26:06 – Does the Program take into consideration the potential contraindications of music for its clients?
  • 27:53 – How to address the question of cost-effective care
  • 30:00 – Erin discusses her CEU for facilities that breaks down how to use their music budget most effectively in order to make the greatest impact for their clients
  • 38:59 – How to set consultation fees
  • 40:37 – Answers the question: “I visit a number of facilities where music is playing all the time either in the general area or in a patient’s room. Is that something we could cover in our training to the staff and family?”
  • 46:17 – Answers the question: “Can you review what licensing Dan Cohen secured for the use of the music in this program?” and discusses potential copyright issues.
  • 50:00 – Answers the question: “I struggle to help advocate for a program like M&M when the facility doesn’t seem to understand the difference or doesn’t want to take the time to learn. I have been asked to come and speak with a group but I get the sense that they want me to be a cheerleader for M&M but not necessarily MT..advice?”

 


Right click and select “save link as” here to download the mp3 audio, or click play below:

During the webinar, here were some helpful comments + resources:
You may contact Erin with any questions at erin@ohiomt.com

Ronna Kaplan
If any of you has any info about what you are doing with Music and Memory, please let me know, because I will be writing another Huffington Post column as a follow up. rkaplan@themusicsettlement.org

Leslie Henry
I will post research articles music therapists unite facebook page or contact me at lahenry@tds.net

Kathy
I know you mentioned that there have not been a lot of problems with the equipment being stolen but are there any ideas to help secure them so that they are less likely to be taken?

Stephanie
@Kathy, at my school we have ipad carts that are locked and secured. Here’s an example:http://www.apple.com/education/docs/Apple-iPodLearningLabL350268D092809.pdf.Perhaps something like this could be made ore modified.

Ashley
People with dementia also have a difficult time distinguishing pertinent sounds from a noisy environment (called the cocktail party effect). That’s something that all facilities should be aware of when using music in the environment, and something we can provide education about

Kathy
generally what should consultation fees be in relation to your general music therapy group or individual rate? Do you do a per hour rate or a package deal?

Barb
@Kathy: as a group of professionals we must be careful not to collude on rate setting, or perceive to be doing that even if innocent in origin. Erin’s guidance is good and the member workforce survey may also offer a little insight into fees.

Leslie Henry
In Wisconsin we have monthly webinars and a good portion of those calling in are music therapists and do provide some advocacy and education in a chat form similar to this. Also, Dr. Taylor presented last year and will again this year at one of the webinars. You can find them here: https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/music-memory/index-shadow2.htm

Mica
Erin, i appreciate the analogy of music and music therapists with exercise and physical therapists! It makes sense and puts it in terms that the facilities and other professionals might understand easier.

Mimi
Is there a cost analysis available for the Music and Memory program with and without a consulting MT?

leslie henry
@ Mimi, Hi there Ohio. What we are finding in Wisconsin is that facilities that do not employ music therapists are having less consistent use of iPods. I think there will be more consistency and engagement with those facilities that either employ or consult with an MT.

Stephanie
Erin, I LOVE what you are doing to advocate for MT as well as educate about this program. It makes so much ethical sense, and it serves our clients and our profession much better than complaining!

leslie henry
Absolutely! We need to lead this IMHO, music and memory are doing well with promotion, fundraising, but we understand how music changes people!

David Putano
And, to point out that all therapy, including MT consists of 1) identifying deficit areas 2) Setting goals 3) Writing interventions to address the goals then 4) provide progress note re session(s)

What can you take away and bring into your practice from this experience?

 

Kelly Johnston
I see this as an opportunity to advocate for our profession, explain the difference but also realize the value of partnering with such programs. I’m in a large skilled nursing facility, and while I’d love to see everyone for music therapy, I’m only one person. I am planning on educating other staff and showing them the value of music for our residents, how they can be a part of it, and how it can make their job more enjoyable! Thanks for all of the information!

Jeanne
We have been a Music & Memories facility for over a year. The program has been beneficial for our residents. My take away from this webinar — use this as an opportunity to educate others about Music Therapy. Be the expert. Thank you!

Stephanie
My takeaway: ADVOCACY ≠ discounting other programs. Collaboration may in fact promote growth and serve patients better than we could alone!

Julia
One thing that I’ll take away is that as music therapists, we are the experts! I am a new professional, so I am still gaining that confidence of all my education and experience I’ve gained. We really do have a unique insight to this program!

Stephanie
Yes, Julia! Taking time to learn and be excited about what other people are doing with music has only increased and improved my relationships, and has also increased the amount of consulting I do with coworkers.

Julia
@Stephanie, great point. I like this collaborative spirit instead of working against it because it’s not “music therapy”

Lucille
I didn’t realize that the music and memory programs were more about availability of music for listening rather than giving advice on implementing music listening as a benefit for LTC residents.

Rhonda
Thanks for encouraging MT’s to be open to the Music and Memory program, and thinking about ways to work together to improve lives through music. Thank you!

Katie Rotuno
That we should not be getting crabby about this, instead excited about the opportunities for collaboration, consultation, and more music reaching more people!

Jessica Mull
To try to work very hard to see M&M not as the enemy but a partner in care. It really helps to know that Dan Cohen sees the difference and is helping to advocate for us! Thanks folks!

Brittany
My take away: Be the expert! We have a role in M&M and collaborate with the program. – Brittany Olisar

Rhonda
Thanks for encouraging MT’s to be open to the Music and Memory program, and thinking about ways to work together to improve lives through music. Thank you!

Jennifer
Taking away from this webinar that we’re all working on this together and support one another! Thanks, from Jennifer Geiger

What did YOU take away and bring into your practice from this experience?Please leave your comments below!

1 Comment

  1. Carol Winstead

    Appreciation for a program that so clearly demonstrates the power of music. And I really appreciated Erin’s reminder that the music therapist is the expert and that we should approach M&M that way and that this can be a great tool and help to us. I also love the idea of empowering the families. What a gift in a time where they must feel they are constantly losing ground. On another note, does anyone know where the sticky note is with the AMTA response and resources?

    Reply

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