What is Neurologic Music Therapy?

Neurologic Music Therapy (NMT) is an advanced form of music therapy that uses research-based techniques to treat the brain using music and rhythm. NMT uses these techniques to achieve non-musical goals such as speech, physical movement, cognition and other conditions of the nervous system. It is defined as, “the therapeutic application of music to cognitive, sensory, and motor function due to neurologic disease of the human nervous system.”

Research has shown that rhythm and music affect multiple areas of the human brain at once on a subconscious level. Because of this fact, rhythm can be used to help build new connections in the brain (called neuropathways) thus improving a subject’s brain function and allowing them to lead more productive and functional lives. 

As Neurologic Music Therapists, we specialize in serving individuals with neurologic impairments including but not limited to: Autism Spectrum Disorder, Developmental Disabilities, Cerebral Palsy, Multiple Sclerosis, Stroke, Traumatic Brain Injury, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and Dementia.

For more information about the research and development of NMT, read Handbook of Neurologic Music Therapy, 2014 by Dr. Michael Thaut and Rhythm, Music, and the Brain: Scientific Foundations and Clinical Applications, 2005 by Dr. Michael Thaut.

What is the difference between Neurologic Music Therapy and regular music therapy?

While general music therapy seeks to treat many different aspects of patient need (emotional, physical, mental, etc.) through playing or writing music, Neurologic Music Therapy focuses specifically on music and rhythm’s physical affect on the brain and brain connections (called neuropathways) through specific research-based techniques (called NMT interventions). NMT interventions are applied in a consistent manner based on the therapeutic goal of the client.

Neurologic Music Therapists are required to have completed additional training above and beyond standard music therapy certification in order to maintain their NMT designation.

What education is required to become a Neurologic Music Therapist?

Neurologic Music Therapists must first complete an undergraduate program in music therapy focusing on fundamental music courses, psychology, anatomy, research and statistics, and supervised clinical placements. Each graduate then completes a 1000 hour internship under the supervision of an accredited/certified music therapist before writing comprehensive board exams to obtain certification through the national Certification Board for Music Therapists resulting in the credential “Music Therapist – Board Certified” (MT-BC). The Canadian Association of Music Therapy (CAMT) then grants a music therapist the credentials “Music Therapist Accredited” (MTA). Additionally, a music therapist must also complete the 4-day, 30-hour training institute at the ‘Robert F. Unkefer’ Academy of Neurologic Music Therapy, which allows the accredited/board-certified music therapist to practice and use the professional designation of Neurologic Music Therapist (NMT) for three years.

Therapists then either need to return to the Academy to renew their training, or can return for the Advanced Training Institute, which and become registered as a Fellow of the Academy (NMT Fellow). The status of Fellow is maintained by successful completion of the Advanced Training Institute every five years thereafter.

 Visit the ‘Robert F. Unkefer’ Academy of Neurologic Music Therapy website for more information.

Pediatric populations can work on:

  • language acquisition and communication skills (both expressive and receptive skills)
  • Focus and attending behaviours
  • learning academic skills (numeracy, shapes, colours, letters, patterns, etc.,)
  • Social interaction and play skills (sharing, waiting, turn taking, transitioning, parallel play, dramatic/imaginative play)
  • Fine and gross motor movement (pincer grip, palmar grasp, balance, coordination, motor sequencing, etc.,)
  • Sensory integration
  • Emotional development (self-esteem, leadership skills, dealing with frustration, learning emotions and recognizing facial affect)

Rehabilitation Populations (including TBI, Stroke) can work on:

  • Assist in regaining range of motion
  • Strengthen fine and gross motor movements
  • Build endurance and muscle memory
  • Improve motor sequencing, balance
  • Improve gait patterns
  • Relearn speech
  • Oral motor strengthening and more!

We love to work alongside your physical therapists, occupational therapists and speech and language pathologists to help you achieve your end goals each step of the way! Aging Populations can work on:

  • Working memory
  • Reminiscence
  • Executive functioning
  • Range of motion
  • Sensory integration
  • Supporting emotional well-being
  • Decreasing stress and anxiety
  • Palliative services
Individual Neurologic Music Therapy Services

Individual Neurologic Music Therapy sessions typically take place on a weekly basis, ranging from 30 minute to 60 minute one-on-one sessions, with the client’s regular Bang A Beat therapist.

ASSESSMENT & TREATMENT PLAN: All new clients begin the process with an assessment phase (which takes place over two session visits). The assessment provides a detailed evaluation of the client in three major areas: sensorimotor (ability to walk, start and stop movement, control of arms and legs), speech and language (level of communication, speech ability), and cognition (concentration, hearing, level of interactivity) as well as assessing other social development.  From there an individualized treatment plan (derived from the assessment phase as well as parent/caregiver input) complete with therapeutic goals and objectives is created.  We have worked closely with other professionals at school divisions, St. Amant, Rehabilitation Centre for Children (RCC), Society for Manitobans with Disabilities (SMD), Autism Learning Centre, Riverview Health Centre, ActionMarguerite, and as well as numerous private speech language pathologists, occupational therapists, and other professionals.  If you would like us to work closely with your team of professionals to coordinate goals and objectives, we are happy to do so.

Pricing: $225.00 + GST

WEEKLY SESSIONS & REPORTS: Sessions take place on a weekly basis.  During each session, the therapist uses various NMT interventions to help their client work towards the goals and objectives outlined in their treatment plan.  The final 5 minutes of each session are reserved for the therapist to update the parent/caregiver on what was worked on, the client’s progress, and/or strategies/techniques that can be used outside of sessions in continuing the therapeutic process.  Weekly session documentation is completed, and every three months, a progress report is completed where the therapist updates the treatment plan with accomplished goals, sets new goals, and reports on client progress.  This report is billed for at a cost of one session visit.

IEP-BASED SESSIONS:  We also offer music therapy services to school-aged individuals, supporting Individual Education Plan (IEP) goals and objectives. In these sessions, music is used specifically to target nonmusical goals from a student’s IEP. With consent, we can also work with other therapists (speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, ABA, Floortime, RDI, etc.) and SERTS to provide consistency within a clients’ current treatment plan.

On-Site Pricing: 45 mins – $52.38 + GST | 60 mins – $66.67 + GST

Off-Site Pricing: 45 mins – $59.52 + GST | 60 mins – $73.81 + GST

Music Lessons

Adapted Music Lessons

Our adapted music lessons are designed to help teach all individuals with special learning needs how to play an instrument. We use an eclectic approach incorporating singing, movement, percussion instruments, innovative rhythmic pattern games, props and tailored interventions to help integrate musical concepts for each individual students particular learning style.  By doing so, we ensure a positive and rewarding learning experience. Currently piano/keyboard, guitar and voice lessons are being offered.

On-Site Pricing: 30 mins – $38.10 + GST | 45 mins – $52.38 + GST

Off-Site Pricing: 30 mins – $45.23 + GST | 45 mins – $59.52 + GST

Music Lessons

Starting in April 2017, Bang A Beat will also be offering regular Music Lessons for students of all ages! We recommend starting lessons at age 5.    This is a great option for our kiddos graduating out of our Music Together Mixed Aged Classes as a way to continue with their music competency.  Don’t forget, you’re never too old to be starting music lessons either!  Our staff will make you feel comfortable as you explore learning a new instrument at any age!  Lessons are taught on-site only.  Currently we offer:

  • Violin/Fiddle
  • Piano (RCM grade 1-7)
  • Voice
  • Beginner Guitar
  • Theory

On-Site Pricing: 30 mins – $20.00 + GST | 45 mins – $30.00 + GST | 60 mins – $40.00 + GST

Lessons Payment Policy:  Payments will take place at the beginning of every month for the upcoming month.  Bang A Beat will issue an electronic invoice to your account. Keep your electronic receipts for your Manitoba Arts Tax Credit, as we do not issue duplicate receipts.

Cancellation Policy: Lessons missed by student due to illness or travel are not required to be made up by Bang A Beat staff. Lessons missed by the teacher will be either made-up or credited towards the next months invoice.

Termination Policy: To terminate sessions during your first month, written notice can be given at any time and is effective immediately.  After 30 days, written notification must be provided via email 1 month in advance.

Additional Services

Preschool Programming

We love coming in to preschools to offer theme-based sessions where social development, language development and learning pre-academic skills are key areas of focus! We bring in a large variety of storybooks and storyboards, sensory props including: scarves, ribbon wands, puppets, parachutes, cheer pom-poms, etc., in addition to our fun collection of brightly coloured instruments.

Sing Alongs, Choir Groups and Entertainment!

If you are looking for additional recreational music programming, the team at Bang A Beat also facilitates sing along groups and choirs where we bring back all of the old favourites for a rocking good time!  If you are looking for birthday party entertainment, holiday entertainment, live music for wedding ceremonies, or other special events, we would be honoured to offer you our services to help create lasting memories.

Presentations & Workshops

Bang A Beat Music Therapy Centre customizes presentations and workshops to meet the needs of those in attendance.  We incorporate hands-on activities, allowing all participants to experience the power of music therapy.  Using a combination of real-life experiences and scientific research, we  explain the benefits of music therapy with various populations and diagnoses.  Or are you looking for an innovative way to connect your staff and create opportunities for team-building?  Drum circles are a great way to help create a sense of community and improve communication skills through working together to create one sound.

Group Neurologic Music Therapy Services

Group Neurologic Music Therapy sessions are offered in settings of four or more clients and may be held at our centre or with contracting organizations within the community.  Similarly to Individual NMT sessions, clients work towards addressing a variety of goals and objectives.  Sessions provide a supportive, engaging and enticing environment for clients to work towards their goals as well as engage in social interaction opportunities. The final 5 minutes of each session are reserved for the therapist to update the parent/caregiver on what was worked on, the client’s progress, and strategies/techniques that can be used outside of sessions in continuing the therapeutic process.  Weekly session documentation is completed, and every three months, a review is completed where the therapists’ update the treatment plan with accomplished goals, set new goals, and report on client progress.  Please note, parent/caregivers and/or staff assistants may be required to attend group sessions.

School Sessions

We offer group music therapy sessions to school-aged individuals right in their own classrooms. Sessions can have either group goals and objectives or can support the Individual Education Plan (IEP) goals and objectives of each student. In these sessions, music is used specifically to target non-musical goals. Bang A Beat Music Therapy Centre is currently providing services to over 45 classrooms in Winnipeg as well as providing individual music therapy sessions within schools! If you would like us to provide services for your classroom, school or school division please contact info@bangabeat.com.

Therapeutic Drum Circles

Research has proven that rhythm through drumming decreases stress and anxiety, boosts the immune system, speeds up physical healing, produces feelings of well-being and creates feelings of togetherness amongst its participants. Bang a Beat Music Therapy Centre facilitates drum circles for groups of 10 or more participants.  Although we do provide a variety of drums and hand-held percussive instruments to play, please feel free to bring your own drum or shaker! Come drum with us!

Pricing:  45 mins – $66.67 + GST | 60 mins – $80.95 + GST

Pricing per person/12 week semesters: 45 mins – $300.00 + GST | 60 mins – $400.00 + GST

Music Therapy Programs for Children

At Bang A Beat, we believe that all of our clients are musical beings. Music is one of the most natural ways to express oneself.  We now offer three different types of Social Skills Programs to our clients with special needs.  Our fun and enticing programs use musical experiences to help participants engage in social interaction opportunities and build their communication skills.

Music Together Within Therapy (2-7 years)

Music Together Within Therapy (MTWT) allows credentialed music therapists at Bang A Beat Music Therapy Centre to incorporate the musically rich and beautifully crafted song selections from Music Together® into small group neurologic music therapy sessions. Designed for little ones ages 2-4, and 5-7, this program combines the philosophies of Music Together with our extensive education and training as Neurologic Music Therapists, allowing us to make Music Together easily accessible to all clients regardless of ability. In our small MTWT groups (maximum 4 registered children plus siblings) families will have the opportunity to make music together with their children. Interaction between parent and child is key in this class, helping to create a trusting environment for your little ones to feel comfortable in bonding with others in a group dynamic.

Current MTWT Classes:

  • Social Skills Development: A strong emphasis is placed on helping group participants learn appropriate play and interaction skills. Activities will focus on helping to meet developmental milestones, with an emphasis on social development such as: appropriate turn taking, sharing, and waiting. Pre-academic learning skills will also be incorporated such as: identifying and labelling colours, shapes, numbers and letters.
  • Social Skills / Self-Regulation: In this class, group participants continue to expand their social interaction skills while also learning self-regulation techniques, spatial awareness and personal space boundaries of others.
  • Language-Learning Through Song: A strong emphasis is placed on helping children with limited language abilities to further explore, develop and practice early language skills through singing sounds, syllables, and words.  Pre-academic learning skills will also be incorporated in this class (colours, shapes, numbers and letters). Rhythmic games and activities that help with pronunciation, phonation and articulation are also utilized.
    • parents/caregivers are required to participate
    • 45 minute class
    • The final 5 minutes at the end of each class each session are reserved for the therapist to update strategies and techniques that can be used outside of sessions in continuing the therapeutic process.   Weekly session documentation is completed, and a report will be submitted to each family at the end of each semester to review accomplished goals and report on client progress.  

              Pricing: $355.00 + GST  per 10 week semester $134.00 + GST  per 10 week semester per registered sibling

    Rhythm Rockstars (8-12 years)

    In addition to further developing communication skills and academic skills, this class continues to expand social skills through creative self-expression.  Our Rhythm Rockstars program is designed for participants ages 8-12, and uses various musical experiences including creating unique musical improvisations, exploring instrument play, and beginner song writing where participants will practice transferring their thoughts and emotions into song.  With an emphasis on social interactions, participants will practice working together, supporting one another and listening to each others’ contributions throughout the music making process.

    • parents/caregivers may be asked to participate from time to time
    • 45 minute class
    • maximum 6 participants
    • The final 5 minutes at the end of each class each session are reserved for the therapist to update strategies and techniques that can be used outside of sessions in continuing the therapeutic process.   Weekly session documentation is completed, and a report will be submitted to each family at the end of each semester to review accomplished goals and report on client progress.  

              Pricing: $300.00 + GST  per 10 week semester

    Let’s Jam (13-22 years)

    Let’s Jam is geared towards teens and young adults ages 13-22, who need moderate to no support participating in a group setting.This program is designed to provide participants with an opportunity to be in their very own “garage band” with their friends!  A great opportunity to make lasting friendships, this class focuses on participants learning how to work together as a team to learn how to play some of their favourite radio hits using various instruments.  Participants will also be supported in creating their own song lyrics and will have the opportunity to perform for family and friends during the year.

    • parents/caregivers may be asked to participate from time to time
    • 45 minute class
    • maximum 6 participants
    • The final 5 minutes at the end of each class each session are reserved for the therapist to update strategies and techniques that can be used outside of sessions in continuing the therapeutic process.   Weekly session documentation is completed, and a report will be submitted to each family at the end of each semester to review accomplished goals and report on client progress.  

              Pricing: $300.00 + GST  per 10 week semester

Meet Our Team of Neurologic Music Therapists

Jaclyn D. Sorenson, BMT, MTA, MT-BC, NMT

Jaclyn D. Sorenson, BMT, MTA, MT-BC, NMT

Founder, Director of Therapy

Jaclyn graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of North Dakota with a Bachelor of Music in Music Therapy in August of 2004. She is both accredited through the Canadian Association for Music Therapy as well as Board Certified through the American Music Therapy Association and is in her third year as the President of the Music Therapy Association of Manitoba.  In 2009, she went on to earn her advanced credentials as a Neurologic Music Therapist from Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO and continues to be in good standing with the Academy of Neurologic Music Therapy. She is a member of both the Canadian Association for Music Therapy and the American Music Therapy Association.

Jaclyn is a Center Director for Music Together, and is both certified as a Music Together instructor and as a Music Therapy Provider for Music Together Within Therapy.  In addition, she also has experience leading DIRFloortime sessions and Social Skills Groups under supervision of licensed DIRFloortime Therapists, and has successfully completed the following trainings: Internship Supervisor Trainings level 1 and 2 in Music Therapy, World Music Drumming -level 1, Village Music Circles -level 1 intensive (Arthur Hull Drum Circle Facilitation), Music Together, NICU Music Therapy -part 1 and a Kirtan workshop with Andres Salcedo.

Jaclyn has provided private music therapy services at various locations including school divisions, hospitals, personal care homes, assisted living, etc. and in clients’ homes, working with various populations and diagnoses from birth through to seniors.  She has performed for special events, and has also lead presentations and professional development days on Music Therapy and community building within a workplace.

Elizabeth Janzen MA, MTA, NMT

Elizabeth Janzen MA, MTA, NMT

Senior Neurologic Music Therapist

Elizabeth received her Bachelor of Music Therapy degree in 2012 from the Canadian Mennonite University after completing an internship working with adults and seniors with developmental delays. She went on to earn her Masters of Music Therapy Degree through Concordia University in Montreal, QC in 2016.  Her focus in the graduate program was young children in schools, and her thesis explored music therapists’ perspectives on collaborating with educational assistants in school settings.

Elizabeth completed her designation as a Neurologic Music Therapist in Toronto in 2016 and has also completed Level 1 training in Guided Imagery and Music (GIM). She has also completed her Music Together teacher training, and is licensed as a Music Together Within Therapy Provider as well. She is accredited through the Canadian Association for Music Therapy and has completed level 1 Internship Supervisor training. Elizabeth has studied piano for 15 years and taught lessons to both children and adults. She also performed in jazz bands throughout high school and university, playing both the piano and alto saxophone. Elizabeth plays the guitar and enjoys singing in a variety of settings.

Russell Peters BA, BMT, MTA, NMT

Russell Peters BA, BMT, MTA, NMT

Neurologic Music Therapist

Russell graduated from the University of Winnipeg with a BA in psychology in 2005 and attended Canadian Mennonite University completing a Bachelor of Music Therapy in 2010. He completed his internship at Selkirk Mental Health Centre working with psychogeriatrics and acquired brain injury.  In 2017 Russell earned his credentials as a Neurologic Music Therapist. He is accredited with the Canadian Association for Music Therapy.

Russell worked in Thompson for six years in both private practice and with the Northern Health Region serving a wide variety of populations.  While living in Thompson he was also an active member of Thompson’s musical community performing solo and in a variety of jazz groups.  Russell enjoys working with all ages, thrives in improvisation and aims to make the music-making process as enjoyable as possible.

Rachelle Reinhart BMT, MTA, MT-BC, NMT

Rachelle Reinhart BMT, MTA, MT-BC, NMT

Neurologic Music Therapist

Rachelle graduated from Canadian Mennonite University with a Bachelor of Music Therapy in 2014. She completed her internship at Music Therapists of Lanark Area in Perth, Ontario, working with adults with developmental delays as well as older adults with dementia. She completed her designation as a Neurologic Music Therapist in Toronto in 2016. She is both accredited with the Canadian Association for Music Therapy and board-certified through the Certification Board for Music Therapy (CBMT).

Rachelle enjoys playing the piano, which she has studied from a young age. She has taught piano and music skills for over six years, directed a children’s choir, and played for the occasional social event. She particularly enjoys collaborating with other musicians, playing with choirs, community orchestras, bands, and solo instrumentalists/vocalists in various settings. Rachelle loves to share music with others, and is passionate about using music to help people of all abilities to develop meaningful connections and relationships.

Bang A Beat Family-Centred Therapies

216 - 1460 Chevrier Blvd.
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3T 1Y7
Phone: 204-887-4779
Email: info@bangabeat.com
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Bang A Beat Family-Centred Therapies

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