This involves visits by a music therapist to oversee/assess an on going music program run by music teachers/specialists and others, usually in a school situation. Initially the music therapist would talk with the staff, observe their work in action and make both verbal and written reports. These would include (but are not limited to);
- positive aspects already being carried out, eg. good use of song material
- recommendations about songs/materials already used (might for example encourage use of more drums)
- recommendations about pace and procedures used during group settings
- recommendations for musical instruments
- recommendations for use of music/musical activities at home
An initial visit could include a short tour or overview of the facility so that the music therapist could assess the context in which a music therapy program might take place. Observations of 2 or 3 music sessions (individuals or groups) carried out by current staff. The visit might also include a presentation on music therapy for the staff. (it is helpful to have this talk follow some observations so that the music therapist has some idea of the clientele the staff are working with). The overall visit would probably take about 5 hours (excluding travel time). The MT visit would be followed by a comprehensive report by the music therapist, the content of which would be as mentioned above.
The initial visit should be followed up with additional visits. The number of times and frequency to be worked out. It might be fortnightly to begin with then monthly, as an example. It could also depend on the training and support the music teachers and specialists already have at the school.
Decisions would need to be made as to whether the music therapist is writing up a "musical program" for each child, or for each class group, or both. Liaison with other therapists on the team is also important. Any program should encompass each child's IEP goals and objectives. Note; music therapy goals are not to teach the child(ren) music, but to use music/musical activities to reach non-music goals (thus the importance of involving the whole team).
The program would include, but is not limited to:
- song material/musical instruments that could be used by the schoolteacher/specialist(s)
- ideas on how to carry out musical activities
- what to look for (i.e. what responses from the child, the teacher/specialist is to look for)
Fees for music therapy consulting vary but are in the range of $80 - $100 per hour.