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New music therapy program aims to help children

September 11, 2013
by Shannon Brys, Associate Editor
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Care Plus NJ, Inc. (“CarePlus”) has announced a new session of Music Therapy Group for children with social, behavioral, and mental health challenges. The 10-week program, which will run from September 24 through November 26, will focus on the many aspects of music and its therapeutic benefits.

The CarePlus Music Therapy Group is designed to target children with behavioral, social, or developmental challenges.  The sessions are arranged to use the elements of music-making to engage the children in a non-threatening and fun way. Some of the goals of the program are to focus on areas such as:

  • Awareness of self and others
  • Cooperation
  • Self-regulation
  • Socialization
  • Communication
  • Motor skills
  • Creativity

The American Music Therapy Association says that, “Music stimulates all of the senses and involves the child at many levels. This ‘multimodal approach’ facilitates many developmental skills.”

“Music therapy is successful in reaching youth who may have difficulty expressing themselves verbally,” says Paul Kates, board certified music therapist. Kates, who will be leading the group, utilizes his therapeutic background and the music-making process to motivate each member towards their own needs. The 10 sessions will focus on the recreation of existing songs, the creation of new and original songs, receptive listening, and exposure to a variety of music, creative movement and/or improvisation. CarePlus offered the program to adults last year, and the successful outcomes achieved inspired Kates to tailor a program for a youth audience.

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