Group Music Therapy Sessions
Group music therapy sessions are designed to meet the needs of individuals who share similar strengths, challenges, and treatment objectives by bringing them together to make music, and to develop and practice valuable social skills in a structured setting. An accredited Music Therapist tailors the sessions to include a variety of different musical instruments and styles.
Through Music Therapy, the following functional areas can be addressed:
- Gross and fine motor skills
- Social skills
- Speech, language, and communication skills
- Emotional identification, management of emotions, and coping skills
- Recreation and leisure skills
- Self-expression and creativity development
The groups that are currently offered through ADD Music Wellness include;
“I’M WITH THE BAND”: Children/Teens with Autism Spectrum Disorder/Developmental and Learning Disabilities
Is your child or teenager interested in learning an instrument as well as play in a band setting? Let ADD Music Wellness provide them an opportunity to develop social and communication skills, self-confidence, and musical skills. Clients use their guitar, vocal, piano, and drum skills to perform as a band in group sessions and performance opportunities throughout the year.
A 2004 study from the Journal of Music Therapy found that music in interventions used with children and teens with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can improve social behaviors, increase focus and attention, increase communication attempts (vocalizations, verbalizations, gestures, and vocabulary), reduce anxiety, and improve body awareness and coordination.
Many additional studies have found that children and adults with ASD respond well to music. Often, individuals with autism respond positively to music when little else is able to get their attention, which makes music a potent therapeutic tool.
Essentially the music therapist, using the elements of music that are the tools of the profession, provide the “continuous disturbance” to coax the brain into dealing with new, alternative conditions. Ultimately changes in the feedback control system culminate in the development of new homeostatic reference points that supplant old ones. Once the brain’s amygdale, thalamus and hypothalamus change their opinions about the body’s state of siege, adaptive functional behaviours can take hold. It is in the process of music therapy where the music process of doing something purposefully, accurately, and in a variety of manners that the intervention ultimately lead to the brain developing the capacity to repattern and retain new sensory information perpetuating functional adaptation.
“DRUM HEADZ”: Group Drumming For All Ages
No experience required! Drop-in or pre-register for our group drumming sessions. We provide drums or you can bring your own.
In 2000, Barry Bittman, MD, performed the first biological research study on the impact of group drumming on the immune system. All the subjects in the experiment were healthy individuals who had no prior musical or drumming experience. Results of blood samples showed that the drumming enhanced immune function significantly on a cellular level. In just one hour, the subjects transformed their biology, boosting elements of the body’s natural immune system and simultaneously reducing the biochemicals that can lead to illness and disease. Bittman’s experiment has been shown to reduce employee burnout,decrease anger in adolescents in corrective institutions, improve mood states and participation in seniors, and reduce the impact of stress in nursing students in the academic setting. These studies continue to point out the functional use of rhythm across a variety of populations and to the health-enhancing impact of rhythm on the body.
“SCRAPHEAP SYMPHONY”: Scrap Art Percussion For All Ages
Take some old bike parts, shiny construction salvage, PVC pipes, and other recycled odds and ends. Add drumsticks and people of all ages and varying functioning levels and music therapy goal areas including behavioural, emotional well-being, cognitive, social, communication and motor development are being addressed in a dizzyingly fun and creative atmosphere.
“SING YOU HOME”: Music Therapy and Dementia
ADD Music Wellness offers a variety of programming for people with dementia, both at our studio and in retirement homes and long term care facilities.
A recent study from Dr. Jane Flinn, a researcher from George Mason University, shows that dementia and Alzheimer’s patients can recall memories and emotions, and have enhanced mental performance after singing– a breakthrough in understanding how music affects those with dementia and Alzheimer’s. Researchers determined the effect music has on dementia patients, by leading half of the participants through selected songs while the other half listened to the music being played. After the musical treatment, all participants took cognitive ability and life satisfaction tests which showed how participants scored significantly better when being lead through songs, rather than only listening.
Using music therapy to improve the overall physical and mental wellbeing of dementia patients can include but are not limited to the following:
- memory recall;
- positive changes in moods and emotional states;
- a sense of control over life;
- non-pharmacological management of pain and discomfort;
- stimulation that promotes interest even when other approaches are ineffective;
- structure that promotes rhythmic and continuous movement or vocal fluency as an adjunct to physical rehabilitation; and
- opportunities to interact socially with others
“LEAN ON ME”: Wellness Programs for Adults
Activity interventions include instrument playing, group singing, active music listening, and movement and dance.
Music Therapy techniques are based on active music making. ADD Music Wellness emphasizes enjoyable, social activities that engender fun and recreation. There is an emphasis on group bonding and attentional focus.
Music therapy for wellness is the use of music therapy processes in the prevention of illness and promotion of continued health. Music therapist Dr. Frederick Tims conducted extensive research with well older adults and found that active music making decreases anxiety, depression, and loneliness while increasing the growth hormone hGh by 92 percent. The production of this hormone indicates a state of health and wellness.
 Whipple, J., Journal of Music Therapy, 2004 Summer; 41(2), pg 90-106.
 Berger, Dorita, Music Therapy, Sensory Integration and the Autistic Child, Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2002, pg 130-151.
 Bittman, Barry, B., et al., “Drumming Strengthens Immune System: Composite Effects of Group Drumming Music Therapy on Modulation of Neuroendocrine-Immune Parameters in Normal Subjects,” Journal of Alternative Therapy, 7, 2001, pg 38-47.
 Bittman, Barry, B., et al., “Recreational Music-Making Modulates Natural Killer Cell Activity, Cytokines, and Mood States in Corporate Employees,” Medical Science Monitor, 13, 2007, pg 57-70.
 Bittman, Barry, B. Dickson, Larry, and Coddinton, Kim, “Creative Musical Expression as a Catalyst for Quality of Life Improvement in Inner-City Adolescents Placed in a Court-Referred Residential Treatment Program,” Advances in Mind-Body Medicine 24, no.1, 2009, pg 8-19.
 Bittman, Barry, B., et al., “Recreational Music-Making (RMM) Inspires Creativity and Bonding in Long-Term Care Residents,” Provider, 2003/2004, pg 39-41.
 Bittman, Barry, B. et al., “Recreational Music-Making: An Integrative Group Intervention for Reducing Burnout and Improving Mood States in First Year Associate Degree Nursing Students: Insights and Economic Impact,” International Journal of Nursing Education and Scholarship, 1, 2004.
 Alzheimers.net, 5 Reasons Why Music Boosts Brain Activity, http://www.alzheimers.net/2014-07-21/why-music-boosts-brain-activity-in-dementia-patients/
 Koga, M., & Tims, F., The Music Making and Wellness Project, American Music Teacher, October-November 2001, pg, 18-22.