Music Therapy Assessment


Question: What is music therapy assessment?

Answer: Music therapy assessment is a means of evaluating client developmental behavior within the context of the music therapy session. Developmental behavior, in this regard, can refer to a specific concern or a global perspective. It can include concerns related to functioning in socialization, communication, fine motor, gross motor, or cognitive behavior. These concerns are relevant to any individual whether developmentally disabled, psychiatric, autistic, Alzheimers, disabled due to stroke, etc.

Question: When is a music therapy assessment called for?

Answer: Music therapy assessment may serve as the initial intake for a prospective client prior to setting up a treatment plan. It may also be used to establish appropriateness of music therapy on the Individual Education Plan for a child receiving services under the IDEA.

Question: What is involved in a music therapy assessment?

Answer: Procedure may vary from one therapist to another. In my practice, I request preliminary information relevant to the background of the client. This may include reports from a neurologist, psychiatrist, physical therapist, speech language pathologist, occupational therapist as well as a copy of the current treatment or educational plan. The therapist reviews preliminary information and then the session is set up in order to strategically evaluate the issues at hand.

The assessment fee includes the review of preliminary information, the music therapy session or sessions (up to two can be required depending upon the attention span of the client) and a report.

Question: Who requests a music therapy assessment?

Answer: The assessment can be requested by the client, the parents of a child, a clinician independently working with a client or a clinician representing a school district.

Question: Who pays for the assessment?

Answer: Generally the client or the parents of a client are responsible for the fee. In cases where a representative of the child study team has requested the assessment, the fee is paid for by the school district. .

Question: What is your fee for an assessment ?

Answer: Please call me for a pricing structure.

Question: What is your background in conducting assessments?

Answer: I have been conducting music therapy assessment since 1976. I have conducted assessment in child and adult psychiatry, autistic spectrum disorder and multiply handicapped children. I have worked with many school districts throughout the State of New Jersey. I wrote and published an assessment tool for the emotionally disturbed child (Arts in Psychotherapy, 1989) in conjunction with my clinical work at New York Hospital. I teach the graduate course of assessment at Montclair State University. My most recent book, Music Therapy Groupwork with Special Needs Children: The Evolving Process (Charles C Thomas, 2007) includes a chapter on assessment.