I have been teaching music lessons since 2001. I teach piano, flute, guitar and ukulele. I have played piano for most of my life, then started playing the flute in elementary school, then the guitar and ukulele in college.
I attended California State University, Northridge, where I received my bachelor's degree in Music Therapy. My music therapy training has helped me to be more observant, sensitive and flexible in my music lessons. I am better able to tailor music lessons to my student's abilities, interests and needs. While I do not provide music therapy in music lessons, I do use a therapeutic approach when teaching music lessons.
I lead music therapy sessions in individual and group settings for people of varying ages (2-90's) and needs (developmental disabilities, speech delays, socialization, dementia, etc.). I drive to lead sessions in people's homes, schools, and assisted living facilities.
I have been teaching private and group music lessons for 13 years. I teach piano, flute, guitar and ukulele. Once or twice a year, depending on how many students I have, and depending on how willing the students are, I arrange a performance recital at a local assisted living facility or skilled nursing facility. This is a way to develop the students' musical and performance skills, building their self-confidence and coping skills, while also offering volunteer service in the community.
I designed and led group music therapy sessions for patients in an in-patient psychiatric facility. I led groups with people of various ages (6-70's) and needs (depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, dissociative identity disorder, etc).
This certification allows me to practice as a music therapist throughout the country. While I do not provide music therapy sessions when I teach music lessons, I use my music therapy training to teach in a therapeutic manner. I am more observant, sensitive, and flexible, and am able to adapt lessons as needed.
AMTA's purpose is the progressive development of the therapeutic use of music in rehabilitation, special education, and community settings. Predecessors, unified in 1998, included the National Association for Music Therapy founded in 1950 and the American Association for Music Therapy founded in 1971. AMTA is committed to the advancement of education, training, professional standards, credentials, and research in support of the music therapy profession.