Music therapy services for improving developmental outcomes of children encompass a variety of early intervention endeavors. From our historical beginning in institutions for those with developmental disabilities, music therapists have moved into many types of diverse, contemporary, human service agencies. NICU-MTs now provide the earliest possible interventions for premature infants in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Other MTBCs improve medical care for pediatric patients; provide infant stimulation, early intervention, and parent training; co-treat with speech and physical therapists in developmental clinics; specialize in pediatric palliative care; and provide a plethora of other children’s services through burgeoning private practices. Music therapists have initiated jobs in these areas, but the profession is still struggling at the national level to achieve the status of being considered a necessary and established program component. Unfortunately, music therapy still develops jobs within one agency and location at a time. It is time to elevate the national perception of music therapy for children – its neuroscience potential, its developmental benefits, its clinical competence, its research and clinical creativity, its programmatic NECESSITY for improved childhood development.
We have formed a collaboration of specialized music therapy experts and researchers called the international Early Notes Network. Our primary goals are:
imagine will be the primary resource for disseminating evidence-based information created by the collaboration among organizations, music therapists, other professionals, parent and client groups, and anyone who wishes to learn more about what we have to offer. Additionally, we envision a wealth of electronic resources generated by the collaboration including books, continuing education training programs, certificates in specialty areas of music therapy, blogs, and research materials.
In order to raise national awareness and recognition of the benefits and necessity for music therapy in developmental programs, we will also seek affiliation with parent groups, advocates, and other professions and non-profit organizations with similar interests. We will link our websites and publications with these groups for the widest possible dissemination of information. We will also assist international music therapy programs with development and training in our specialty areas. The various universities in the collaboration have already established affiliations with programs in the United Kingdom, Japan, Spain, Thailand, Poland, Germany, and China and will develop further international liaisons.