Music Therapy

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Music activates, inspires, and stimulates emotional expression. Music relaxes, calms the nervous system and is helpful in restoring internal balance. Music connects us to ourselves and to others. Music is life affirming.

The developmental, emotional, psychological and social needs of children and adults are addressed through active music-making in a relationship with a music therapist. The Conservatory offers the services of master’s degree level, certified music therapists with New York State creative arts licenses. These professionals are trained multi-instrumentalists with specialties that include psychology, special education and other related fields.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Music Therapy?

Music Therapy is the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music therapy program. (American Music Therapy Association)
American Music Therapy Association:

What is Early Intervention (EI)?

The New York State Early Intervention Program (EIP) is part of the national Early Intervention Program for infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families. First created by Congress in 1986 under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the EIP is administered by the New York State Department of Health through the Bureau of Early Intervention. In New York State, the Early Intervention Program is established in Article 25 of the Public Health Law and has been in effect since July 1, 1993.

To be eligible for services, children must be under 3 years of age and have a confirmed disability or established developmental delay, as defined by the State, in one or more of the following areas of development: physical, cognitive, communication, social-emotional, and/or adaptive.

New York State Early Intervention Program:

Is Music Therapy covered by EI?

Music Therapy is not currently covered by early intervention, but is a wonderful addition to any early intervention services your child may already be receiving.

Why is Music Therapy helpful to young children with special needs?

Music naturally inspires connection, communication, and play. A trained music therapist is able to use the dynamic elements of music to address a young child’s developmental goals in a playful, multi-sensory, holistic way. More information about music therapy and young children can be found here:

What are the qualifications of a Music Therapist?

Our music therapists hold Masters degrees in Music Therapy, national board-certification from the Certification Board for Music Therapists, and are also New York State licensed creative arts therapists.

Certification Board for Music Therapists:
Licensed creative arts therapists:

How is Music Therapy different from an early childhood music education class?

Music therapy sessions may look similar to an early childhood music education class, but the goals are different. While music education classes focus on musical goals, music therapy interventions are specifically designed and facilitated with your child’s developmental goals in mind, and the therapist is constantly assessing, adjusting, and reacting to your child’s needs in every moment. Music therapists are trained to incorporate your child’s goals from other therapies (or your own goals for them) into the interactive music-making experience.

What will my child do in Music Therapy?

Sessions may include playing instruments, moving to music, and singing/vocalizing. The therapist will carefully assess your child’s goals and needs, and provide experiences based off that assessment. Some typical interventions may include: singing familiar and improvised songs to improve expressive skills, an engaging drum song that involves turning from side to side to address trunk rotation and gross motor skills, exploring instruments that encourage fine motor skills and finger separation.

Can I participate in the sessions?

We encourage parents and caregivers to participate in sessions. This allows for carryover into the home environment, and allows for a unique shared play experience between child and parent/caregiver.

Music Therapy for the Young Child

For infants and toddlers receiving early intervention services, music therapy helps promote self-awareness and bonding with a parent or caregiver…

On-Site Music Therapy

In Music Therapy, the developmental, emotional, psychological and social needs of children and adults are addressed through active music-making in a relationship with a music therapist.

Music Therapy Outreach Programs!

The Music Therapy Outreach Program is available to provide music therapy services to public and private schools, social service agencies, youth and foster care programs, and adult and senior programs in Brooklyn and Queens. Our programs are for children and adolescents with special needs or who are at-risk, and adults and seniors with special needs. Programs are designed to meet the specific needs of each school or organization, and can be held at your program location, or on-site at the Brooklyn Campus.

For more information, contact Toby Williams, Music Therapy Director, at 718-622-3300 x16.

Music Therapy Testimonials