Watching a child make a connection through music, when nothing else "worked," is one of the greatest gifts of our profession - to speak a word or phrase for the first time, to have a reciprocal conversation with a peer, to take steps when they were told, "your child will never..." Identifying those students who need services - who will benefit the most - is so gratifying, but the process of assessment can be so overwhelming.
Great music therapists have paved the road to making the process easier. My go-to evaluation tool is the Special Education Music Therapy Assessment Process (SEMTAP). I love the information it provides, and the important components it covers - examining existing goals and data; contacting parents, therapists and educational staff members to get a broader understanding of the student; identifying potential IEP goals that music therapy can assist with and observing progress toward those goals as they are addressed in non-musical instruction; then addressing those goals again with music therapy; and, finally, comparing the session data within the context of the larger scope of data you have collected to validate whether or not music therapy services are in the best interest of the student.
As a music therapist in special education, I am so grateful for this validated process. However, I lacked 2 things. One was a consistent, clearly outlined digital TEMPLATE that could be used by the other music therapists across my district so that our diagnosticians, LSSP's, teachers and the rest of the IEP team, knew what to expect from us each time and could easily read and understand the results.
The second was TIME. The process itself is very time and labor intensive - and rightfully so! Determining if additional services will help our students to be more successful or if they will hamper our students by keeping them in a more restrictive environment is a weighty decision. However, I felt that filling out the resulting paperwork itself doesn't have to be so difficult and time-consuming!
...and that is what spurred me to create Music Therapy Assessment Forms! These are digital templates for your music therapy assessments that you can fill-in, save and submit in a variety of formats - via email, upload to your districts online system or in print, as needed! There is a thorough form for more detail, and a short form that is more concise, depending on the needs/requirements of your schools.
Shown here are examples of some of the form's pages! The gray areas are fillable areas - just type in your info and move on to the next section! Any text I include in the gray areas (as seen above and below) can be deleted and replaced with your own wording, and are provided as suggestions of important information to consider including. There are spaces for both narrative (qualitative) data and quantitative data - which both serve an important purpose.
Also included in the download are 2 sample assessments for each of the form types to give examples of the completed forms. (Here's a sneak peek!)
I had the help of music therapists in educational settings across the country, who tested the forms for feasibility in their settings and within their states requirements. Their feedback positively impacted the forms you see now! My hope is that these forms will make your life easier, and will bring back the JOY of the assessment process - watching student growth take place before your eyes! Let me do the grunt work, so you can do the beautiful work!
<3 Patina Joy
PLEASE NOTE: These forms should be used in conjunction with and NOT as a substitute for a validated assessment process, such as the Special Education Music Therapy Assessment Process (SEMTAP). Learn more about the SEMTAP from the SEMTAP Handbook copyright of Prelude Music Therapy www.preludemusictherapy.com.