Community Music Therapy

Community Music Therapy Groups For Community Health

Social health is an important aspect of our overall health. This is because we’re social creatures. We have a need to be seen and valued for who we are. As well, we need to know that we belong in our communities. A community that recognizes the value of all who live there is a healthy community. Because of these things, community music therapy groups can help foster healthy communities and social well-being.

Music Is A Part of Being Human

This is in part because music and creativity are important to being human. Ultimately, we are creative beings. After all, music and the arts have evolved with humanity since the beginning of time. Music has been used to help people find identity and to feel part of something greater than themselves. Through music, we can come to understand ourselves and others better.

Community music therapy groups in Longmont and Boulder County

Likewise, music enhances our quality of life. It can help us make meaning in our lives and find reasons to keep going when it feels hard. Being able to do this as part of a group helps us to know we aren’t alone.

Below are some ways that music can do this. Read on to learn how community music therapy groups can enhance the health of people and their communities.

A Reflection of How We Interact With Others

Making music with other people can teach us more about how we interact with others. The music we make as a group can serve as a reflection of how we communicate. When we play, is there enough room for others to be heard? Does someone else’s playing feel overpowering to you? Why do you think that is?

The answers to these questions could be illuminating to you. As a result, you can discover new ways to interact and engage. As well, you can also better understand why you respond the way you do in some social interactions.

A Means for Learning Skills and Developing Abilities

Likewise, making music in a group can teach important skills. For example, music can help develop self-regulation and executive functioning skills. These skills are necessary for learning and being able to successfully accomplish tasks. This has relevance for children all the way up to older adults. Read on to learn more about how music can enhance impulse control and attention and focus.

Impulse Control

One of these skills music can help develop is impulse control. After all, you may have to wait for when it’s your turn to play. If a person comes in too early or too late, the piece doesn’t sound the same. As well, you have to pay attention to any directions that are given, such as how loud to play or how fast to play. In these instances, you need to be able to control both your urge to play, as well as your ability to play.

Attention and Focus

Other executive functioning skills that community music therapy groups can develop are attention and focus. This is because you need to pay attention when you’re making music with others. Again, you may need to be ready to play your part. Or you may need to be listening to what others are playing so that you know where you are and where you fit in. Likewise, you may have to filter out other distractions so that you can focus on your part.

Enhance Quality of Life

As mentioned, making and being in music as part of a group enhances one’s quality of life. The influence quality of life has on one’s health and well-being can’t be dismissed. Likewise, quality of life issues impact people of any age and throughout the lifespan.

Community music therapy groups can enhance the quality of life for people of all ages. Playing music together is fun. Listening to music together is fun, too. Additionally, the music may be bringing up memories and feelings that need to be expressed or shared. Talking about those things can be validating and affirming.

A Way to Learn About Others

As people share their experiences in community music therapy groups, participants can get to learn more about each other. Another way that groups can foster this is by being inclusive and culturally-affirming. Read on to learn more.

Inclusive

Music can allow for inclusive participation. This is because music can be made to accommodate people’s abilities. For example, easy-to-play percussion instruments can make it possible for everyone to play. Likewise, modified musical scores or arrangements can be simplified to allow people to feel successful playing together as a group.

This means that people with neurocognitive disorders, such as traumatic brain injury or dementia, can be a part of the music. As well, it means people with serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia can participate. And of course, those without serious mental illness can too.

Culturally-Affirming

As well, music can be a way of bringing people of diverse backgrounds together. This is because music is both transcultural and cross-cultural. While we may have different musical preferences and practices, all cultures have music.

Because of this, music is something to share and celebrate with others. For those who aren’t part of the dominant culture, it can be valuable to have opportunities to share who they are and where they come from. The greater community also benefits.

Community Music Therapy Groups Offered

And this is where SoundWell Music Therapy comes in. Part of my mission is to be of service to the community. Community music therapy groups are one way I do this. Focusing on mental health and wellness, groups serve all ages. Additionally, SoundWell Music Therapy offers team-building workshops.

Examples of Current Groups

Because SoundWell Music Therapy works with people throughout the lifespan, I offer different kinds of groups. Groups address the unique needs of those in the group. Below you can learn more about the groups I currently offer to young children, school-aged children, and older adults:

Early Childhood

SoundWell Music Therapy works with early childhood programs to offer developmentally-rich musical experiences.

This is because music and movement are important to a developing brain and body. Likewise, music can enhance attachment and bonding between caregiver and child. Intergenerational music groups are also available for children and their “grandfriends.”

Groups are offered onsite at partner locations.

School-Aged Children

SoundWell Music Therapy works with schools and other organizations that serve the needs of children and teens.

This is because music can help students develop skills that are important for their long-term success. This includes reinforcing the social emotional learning being implemented in schools. As well, making music as a group can help students feel a sense of belonging and acceptance.

Groups are offered at schools and other outside locations.

Older Adults

SoundWell Music Therapy works with organizations serving older adults in the community. This includes long-term and memory care communities.

This is because responses to music is something that stays with people as they get older. This is even true for those deep in dementia. Music can stimulate memories that are longing to be shared with others. As well, making music reminds people of what they can still do and allows them a chance to be playful.

Groups are offered onsite at partnering locations.

Who SoundWell Music Therapy Works With

All groups are available in Longmont and Boulder County. You provide the place, I provide the instruments! I work with community organizations such as:

  • Schools: public, private, early childhood and special education programs
  • Healthcare Organizations: hospitals and mental health care centers
  • Community/Social Services: working with families and older adults
  • For-Profit and Non-Profit Businesses to provide team-building workshops

Want to Learn More About Community Music Therapy Groups?

Do you have an idea for a group that you want your organization to offer? Are you curious to learn more about what SoundWell Music Therapy can provide your community? You can contact me by email to learn more about the groups I provide. Otherwise, I offer a free 15-minute phone or online consultation that you can schedule here. During this consultation, we’ll talk about the needs of your organization and what I can offer.