Guest Article – Kelly Johnston, Board Certified Music Therapist

Kelly JohnstonI am very excited to be part of David’s Music House and introducing music therapy to the community.  Music therapy is an established and accredited profession that can have lasting effects on the clients it serves.  It is a fun, creative way to allow people to express themselves and work towards goals that enhance their well being.

There seems to be some negative stigma attached to the word “therapy.”  Therapy is something that makes life better.  There is nothing bad about seeking or going to therapy.  It’s there to give us motivation, guidance, and a little help.  No matter who you are, we all need a little help sometimes.  Broken leg?  Physical therapy helps it heal faster.  Going through a rough time?  A counselor can help you see the light.  Hurting back?  Massage therapy feels great.  Music therapy has many benefits as well.

Music therapy focuses on a variety of areas.  It helps address social and academic needs in school aged children.  It helps relieve stress for the busy mother, or help a grieving family member.  It helps a person recovering from surgery to relax and manage their pain.  It helps an elderly grandfather remember dancing with his wife, or someone with Alzheimer’s disease find their voice again…and so much more.

So, why music?  Music is a great motivator.  How many times has music helped you run that extra mile, or made a chore or that long commute a little easier?  Or when you hear your favorite song on the radio, you can’t help but dance and sing along.  Music is a universal language, spoken across the world and part of our every day lives.  In our bodies, music activates different parts of the brain at once, connecting our speech, movement, and emotions.  And finally, music is just a lot of FUN.

So how does music therapy help?  Music therapy is practiced by a Board-Certified Music Therapist, like me!  I have the training to know what kind of music to use, and how to use it.  For each client, I work closely with the family to determine goals, and create ways to address those goals through music.  I usually use guitar, piano, and percussion instruments with structured activities based around the client’s individual interests and needs.  These activities include singing, playing instruments, creative improvisation, song writing, lyric discussion, story telling, and reminiscing.  I often write my own songs to use with my client or group, so we can work on a specific goal at their level.

There’s so much more I can say about music therapy.  I absolutely love my career as a music therapist, and have personally seen it help many people, in many areas of life.  It is beneficial for all- from young children, to middle aged adults, to senior citizens.  And all are welcome at David’s Music House!  I offer free consultations for anyone interested or wanting to learn more about music therapy.  Insurance reimbursement may be available.  Just call or stop in!  And be sure to save the date for our Music PLUS Program Fun/Info Night on November 14th at 7 p.m.  It will feature our guest Ed Boas, a certified rythmic facilitator, who will lead us in an energizing drum circle that will have us all feeling the beat!  Ed works with many organizations and corporations to build teamwork and social interactive rhythmic sessions. I will also be presenting on some of the aspects of our NEW Music PLUS Program and how it can benefit you, your loved one, and our community.  Come on in! It’s a FREE night of FUN for the whole family.

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