We all get it. We give a little sigh, take a deep breath and begin. "Music therapy is the use of music to address non-musical goals...no music therapy is not teaching music..." and off you go. As a growing profession we are always advocating and explaining our role. Additionally, within the field of music therapy, the each of the various populations we serve comes with specific codes, laws and approaches unique to those populations.
When it comes to music therapy in special education, we have to consider IDEA, FERPA, and FAPE. We complete assessments and provide services and input as members of IEP teams (a.k.a. ARD committees in Texas). We then develop music therapy programs that are best fitted to the unique needs of students in our specific school district, or re-organize programs as the needs and standards change. We collaborate with teachers, OTs, PTs, SLPs, the list goes on. The acronyms and laws alone are enough make your head spin.
To make your life a little easier, I have expanded my "about" page to include a brief description of what music therapy is, an overview of music therapy in special education (and what it is not), and links to more information - like examples of music therapy models of service delivery, a basic description of the referral and assessment process, and music therapy as it is specifically mentioned in IDEA.
While it won't answer all of your questions, I hope that you find these resources useful as you seek affirmation that you're headed in the right direction, as you grow and strengthen your current music therapy program or as you propose a new one! If you have suggestions for other resources or information that would be helpful, I would love to have your input. Contact me!
And by the way, what IS music therapy?
<3 Patina Joy