Shenandoah University’s music therapy program is further distinguishing itself as a leader in the field, through additions to the program itself and innovative research and leadership efforts from students, faculty and alumni.
The music therapy program is awaiting Certification Board for Music Therapists (CBMT) approval as an approved provider of continuing education training for music therapists. If approved, Shenandoah University will be the first university in Virginia with this designation.
Also, after initial research at Inova Loudoun Intensive Care Unit, the music therapy program at Shenandoah Conservatory is developing a more formal research collaboration. Ongoing research projects are expected to continue in the future. Additionally, Ray Leone ’86, ’17, MT-BC, and Amanda Golino, a nurse and research coordinator at the Inova Center for Personalized Health (ICPH), in Fairfax, Virginia, presented their Music Therapy/ICU research study at the 2017 Inova Nursing Research Symposium on Nov. 14, at ICPH. Their research poster was also on display during the symposium and was awarded Best Research Poster.
Under the leadership of Director of Graduate Music Therapy Studies and Associate Professor of Music Therapy Anthony Meadows, Ph.D., music therapy faculty from all music therapy programs in the United States met in St. Louis, Missouri, this November to discuss and vote on forming as a faculty group, and developing a relationship with the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) to advance music therapy education and training. And, as part of Shenandoah’s Technology Fellows (summer fellowship) program, Dr. Meadows has secured collaboration among five clinical sites, including the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Shriner’s Hospital, Blue Ridge Hospice and Shenandoah Valley Westminster-Canterbury, to record music therapy sessions in 3D and develop these into training units for music therapy programs. This is the first such music therapy project in the country to use this technology.
Adjunct Associate Professor of Music Therapy Thomas Sweitzer ’94, ’10, B.F.A., Master’s Certificate in Music Therapy, was awarded the AMTA Professional Service Award at the organization’s national conference in St. Louis, Missouri. Sweitzer was also featured in the recently released music therapy documentary, “Music Got Me Here.” The documentary follows Sweitzer’s work over about three years with Forrest Allen, who suffered from a catastrophic brain injury several years ago. The film has been positively reviewed and shows the power of music as a healing modality. Visit musicgotmehere.com for more information.
Music therapy alumna Tara (Parks) Jenkins ’07, MT-BC, has co-authored “Music, Memory, and Meaning,” a music resource for individuals living with cognitive decline and/or dementia and their caregivers. The goal was to create a practical resource for caregivers (including but not limited to family, friends, activity professionals, and health care workers) to utilize the power of music and create a meaningful experience with their loved one. “Music, Memory, and Meaning” contains more than 100 engaged listening discussions and 15 research-based and professionally reviewed playlists to help guide readers, even those with no musical experience, to successfully connect with with their aging loved ones. The book can be used with older adults in all levels of care and is appropriate for both individual and group settings. With all of the vast information and research about music and memory, the authors wanted the book to show caregivers how they can use music to meaningfully engage with those living with cognitive decline and/or dementia.