At Golden Pond we believe in the power and effectiveness of the Expressive Arts Therapies to beneficially impact the lives and wellbeing of our community members. For this reason we now have added full-time board certified music therapist Allison Fox, MA, MT-BC to our dedicated team!
There are innumerable benefits to incorporating the expressive arts therapies here at Golden Pond. By providing meaningful programs and activities that allow every resident to participate, the arts do positively impact each person’s quality of life. While the very act of being creative alone can be therapeutic in nature, expressive arts therapy sessions are facilitated by a trained and credentialed professional who is able to utilize the arts to help people achieve social, emotional, physical, cognitive, sensory, and spiritual goals.
A common misconception around music therapy is that a person needs to be a “musician” or have a strong love of music to benefit from services. Contrary to this belief, the truth is that all people have the capacity to experience therapeutic benefits using music since it is one of the few stimuli that engages nearly all regions of the brain simultaneously*. Especially when working with individuals living with deficits secondary to neurocognitive disorders such as dementia, the expressive arts therapies afford opportunities for people to overcome obstacles where traditional verbal psychotherapy alone might not be as effective.
Some examples of activities that might be incorporated in music therapy sessions are:
- Listening to live or recorded music
- Learning music-assisted relaxation techniques like muscle relaxation or deep breathing
- Singing of familiar songs with live or recorded accompaniment
- Playing instruments, such as hand percussion
- Improvising music on instruments or voice
- Participating in a community chorus
- Learning to play an instrument, such as piano or guitar
- Creating art with music
- Drumming in a community drum circle
- Dancing or moving to live or recorded music
Music therapy is especially effective in the Golden Pond community because it is highly adaptable to residents’ individualized needs and preferences. As a music therapist, flexibility and improvisation are essential to effectiveness. Music therapists can easily adapt the amount of time spent in a particular experience, the type of music used, and the various musical elements involved, lending to an experience that is person-centered every time. Additionally, music therapy encourages experiences that are intrinsically social. Years ago, it was common for people to gather on a front porch or around a piano to make music together. Especially when working with elders who grew up with these traditions, reintroducing the importance of music making and/or listening in a group setting can be very soothing and therapeutic as it engages these memories and feelings while building community in a natural way.”
At Golden Pond we are committed to supporting growth and connection through creativity and expression. If you would like to learn more or get involved in our community expressive arts therapy offerings, feel free to contact us for more information.
*Suomen Akatemia (Academy of Finland). (2011, December 6). Listening to music lights up the whole brain. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 17, 2018 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111205081731.htm