Fulton County Music Therapists Joe Bailey, Natalie Generally, Roy Joyner, and Harry Lester presented to Fulton County elementary Music Specialists on strategies and adaptations for special learners in a general music setting. Contents ranged from characteristics and strategies of special populations, goals to incorporate the needs of special learners in the general music classroom, and adaptations of musical instruments for those with special needs.
Halloween throughout Fulton County was a blast in music therapy. Check out all the different ways we used Halloween music to learn and relate to current events.
Students at Haynes Bridge Middle School practiced their team building skills by working together to create the soundtrack to Walt Disney's Silly Symphonies: The Skeleton Dance.
Students at Tri Cities High School used Thriller by Michael Jackson to improve their motor skills.
The students at Birmingham Falls Elementary worked on social and imaginative play with a music therapy intern, Ms. Lauren, who dressed up like a T-Rex and Ms. Amber who pretended to be Dracula.
The students at New Prospect Elementary practiced their subtraction skills while making eyeball stew.
Reece Jennings comes to us from Appalachian State and his hometown is Greensboro, NC. Though he's working to complete his BM in Music Therapy, Reece also obtains a BM in Music Education. His primary instrument throughout college was trombone, but he also plays bass, guitar, ukulele, and percussion instruments. Reece also enjoys using everyday items as instruments such as kitchen equipment, hardware tools, or even his dog (with no harm towards animals, of course).
Outside of music, Reece enjoys cooking, hiking, disc golf, reading and traveling. Reece was able to work on a farm in South Africa and played in a jazz band touring Europe.
Welcome to the team, Reece!
On Friday October 20th, the Fulton County Music Therapy Department held a special meeting outside of school hours to improve our documentation and further our therapeutic skills. We discussed data, discussed further developing an assessment, and updated some of our forms that were out of date.
To improve our musical skills, we were able learn some new drumming techniques we can use in therapy sessions from one of our own, Joe Bailey, Jr. See below for some fun video Boomerangs taken from the afternoon.
L-R: Nicole Wright, Brianna Henderson, Missy Worden, Tasia Carter
L-R: Stephanie Guest, Amber Weldon-Stevens, Harry Lester
L-R, Emily Minkow, Jessica Brodley-Lopez, Kirby Carruth, Marsha Lane
And lastly, enjoy a video of the therapists practicing their improvisational skills through a drum circle.
Maureen "Mo" Kirkpatrick comes to us from the University of Alabama, though her hometown is Spring Hill, TN. Her primary instrument throughout college was voice but she can play piano, guitar and ukulele.
In her spare time, Mo enjoys watching movies, knitting, kayaking, do-it-yourself crafts and facetiming with her nephew Milo. She also enjoys watching Game of Thrones and collecting antique music boxes. Before Fulton County Music Therapist Internship, Mo did some modeling on the side and is on the cover of a Christian romance novel.
Welcome to the team, Mo!
Lauren Viljamaa comes to us from the University of Georgia and she has many places she considers her hometown. She has lived in Glenview, IL, Appleton, WI, and Hoschton, GA. She has also attended Lawrence University for Music Education and Lesley University for Masters in Integrating the Arts into Curriculum. Lauren also has a minor in voice, which is one of her two major instruments with the other being piano.
Outside of music therapy, Lauren loves to advocate for the arts. She explains this passion best in her own words. "Whether it’s working behind the scenes building sets, helping with lighting design, tap dancing in the chorus, going to my brother and sister’s art gallery openings, directing the pit or chorus ensemble, choreographing big dance numbers, or giving notes to the cast it’s simply a magical bonding experience like no other. The Arts bring us together: we work together, we play together, we struggle together and we begin to truly learn about each other and know each other, through the arts."
Outside of advocating, she enjoys going to the gym and is a fitness instructor for various group classes. Lauren has also been active in musical theatre and was able to play Velma Kelly in a musical "Chicago" - one of her all time favorites. This role is especially interesting to her because Lauren grew up near the Cook County Jail (the setting for the infamous “Cell Block Tango” and other jail scenes in the musical).
Welcome to the team, Lauren!
Keandra White comes to us from Mississippi University for Women but her hometown is Tampa, FL. While she is working towards completion of her BM in Music Therapy, Keandra holds a minor in business. Her primary instrument was voice throughout college, but she can play guitar and piano. She has also been able to sing internationally.
Outside of music therapy, Keandra enjoys dancing, reading, volunteering, and traveling. Her favorite type of food is Jamaican food and her favorite movie is the Lion King II: Simba's Pride.
Welcome to the team, Keandra!
Meet intern Emily! Emily comes to us from the University of Georgia and grew up not too far away in Cumming, GA. Her primary instrument is piano, but she also enjoys playing guitar, ukulele, and mandolin. Last summer, Emily studied abroad in Germany to learn about music therapy in other parts of the world. While there, she was able to observe several German music therapists.
Outside of music therapy, Emily enjoys reading, painting, playing music with friends, baking - especially with chocolate, and cuddling with her dogs.
Welcome to the team, Emily!
Meet intern Madison! She comes to us from the University of Georgia, but her hometown is Hudson, Ohio. Her primary instrument is harp and she's travelled to various venues to perform on harp in Italy, Germany, France and Belgium.
Outside of music therapy, Madison enjoys spending time with family, friends, and pets, as well as eating and watching funny movies. She enjoys traveling, especially to water destinations such as the beach or lake. An interesting fact about Madison is she used to be a National Karate Champion in Sparring.
Welcome to the team, Madison!
Many of us were enjoying solar eclipse themed lessons this week, while few of us had music classes interrupted to go outside and view the eclipse. Either way, it made for a fun week full of talking about the sun and the moon.
Pictures in Galley include Stephanie Guest singing Moon, Moon, Moon by Laurie Berkner while incorporating the use of flashlights for visual tracking and following directions. Also pictured are Riverwood High School students in the football stadium viewing the eclipse on Monday while it happened (photo by Emily Minkow).
All of the music therapists met last Thursday to set the 2017-2018 Fulton County Music Therapy intern schedules. We spent the day discussing goals as a department for the year and preparing for our new interns to join us in September. With sixteen music therapists all over north and south Fulton County, it is difficult to get all of the department in the same place at the same time. We took the rare opportunity to grab a photo and commemorate the event.
Two of our therapists, Roy Joyner and Harry Lester, presented about music therapy over the summer. Their presentation entitled "Music Therapy: It's All in Your Head" focused on the effect of music on the brain and how music is used within music therapy.
The presentation was given on June 7th at the Woodruff Arts Center's educator conference and again on July 27 at the Woodruff Arts Center to the Atlanta Public School's music teachers as part of their professional learning during their pre-planning.
As we are gearing up for another school year, we figured this would be a good time to share a case of the "good feels" on our blog. Over the summer, there were many exciting and heartwarming stories that featured kids with disabilities. We thought we would share a few with you. Thanks to our own, Stephanie Guest, for sending in all these stories to be featured in this post.
On a flight to Israel, a kind woman stepped up to help a child with autism that was overstimulated on a flight. She was able to help calm him down and give his mother a break. The story from Good News Network can be found here.
Also from Good News Network, a young boy that is deaf was able to communicate with
Mickey and Minnie Mouse via sign language in a recent trip to Disneyland in Anaheim,
California. The story can be found here.
In another heart warming story from Good News Network, a man decided to not only propose to his now fiancé, but also to her sister with Down syndrome. You can read the story here.
Lastly, from Good News Network comes a story about a boy with autism and how kindly he was treated at an arcade by staff members. The story can be found here .
In this story by NBC today, an 8 year old boy helped save money to buy his friend a new wheelchair. You can read the story here.
Newsweek wrote a story about a child that suffered brain damage after drowning. This brain damage was significantly corrected with a new type of oxygen therapy. The story can be found here.
Last and certainly not least, the young boy with Down syndrome will put a smile on your face as he belts out Whitney Houston. You can read the story here. Video is below
Last night at the National Memorial Day Concert in Washington DC, Music Therapy was praised for its importance right before Captain Luiz Avila, a military policeman severely injured by a IED explosion, got up to sing "God Bless America" with the aide of his music therapist, Rebecca Vaudeuil. Renée Fleming, an American opera singer and Music Therapy advocate joined him and led the crowd to sing along. The heartwarming performance can be viewed here with the Music Therapy highlight beginning at 43:48. Another story that focuses more on the history and description of what Music Therapy is can be found on the PBS page for the National Memorial Day Concert.
The national recognition of Music Therapy will continue this Saturday, June 3rd with Renée Fleming, Ben Folds and Dr. Frances Collins, the director for the National Institute of Health at the Kennedy Center. From 1:30 pm to 3:00 pm, “Breakthroughs with Music Therapy: Recovery, Resilience & Quality of Life,” will feature poignant stories and cutting-edge research focusing on three areas of Music Therapy practice as part of the Kennedy Center-NIH partnership, “Music and the Mind.” More information about this event can be found here.
On Friday May 12th, Banneker High School and our own music therapist, Joe Bailey, hosted the 6th annual music composition competition for the Community Based Instruction (CBI) students. Half of the students in the CBI department worked together diligently since January composing, arranging, and producing a class song using the music program Logic Pro and Garage Band. The students created and recorded their music by grade level in addition to creating and recording the lyrics to present to the CBI department.
This is a yearly semester project and every year Mr. Bailey's students focus on several musical and nonmusical goals. This year, some of the relevant goals were increasing peer collaboration, understanding and reciting single, double, and/or triple rhyme schemes, understanding sound waves, increase self-awareness and self-esteem, sequencing phrases and/or chants, exploration of genres, and understanding song structures.
While the 10th graders won this year's competition, all students did a fantastic job. You can see the full performance in the video below.
This year was the first year the Special Olympics Track and Field event was separated between North and South Fulton County. Due to the I-85 bridge collapse, Fulton County Schools opted to help alleviate traffic issues for the event by hosting a North and South County Olympics. The North County Track and Field event was hosted at North Springs High School. The South County Track and Field event was hosted at Banneker High School. See below for a video interpretation of the day, with emphasis on the country Jamaica as this was the country the music therapy team was selected to represent this year.
One of our own music therapists, Marsha Lane, participated in career day at S. L. Lewis Elementary School on May 5th. Marsha was asked to be one of the presenters on this special day. She is pictured above, towards the back right, with Ms. Darden's Kindergarten class.
A very heart warming story out of Middleton, Ohio tells us how a student was greatly helped by the power of music. Makenna Kash was diagnosed with septo-optic nerve dysplasa at a young age of only 4 months old. Her parents immediately enrolled her in the Cincinnati Association for the Blind where she began music therapy. To see the full story and how her voice was discovered, you find the story here.
Chris Ulmer, a Florida special education teacher from Jacksonville, is traveling the world with camera in hand. He takes videos of students he meets from all over in hopes of turning their interviews into storybooks. In each video, he interviews the student and learns much about everyone's individuality. This story, originally done by ABC news, can be found here.
The Southeastern Region of the American Music Therapy association hosted their Regional Music Therapy Conference in Chapel Hill, NC at the end of March/the beginning of April. Many of the Fulton County Music Therapists attended.
One of our own music therapists, Joe Bailey, presented on Hip Hop Music Therapy. See below to see a photo slideshow for highlights of Joe 's presentation.
Sesame Street is introducing a new character, 4 year-old Julia, who is quite shy, loves her toy bunny, and just happens to have autism. Sesame Street worked with multiple autism organizations to develop the best way to portray a character with autism. She will premiere on the show in April. You can read the article here.
Today, March 21st, is National Down Syndrome Awareness Day. On this day we try to raise awareness about raise public awareness, as well as create a single global voice to advocate for people with Down Syndrome.
There are a few great videos going around Facebook to raise awareness. Due to the nature of the videos, we cannot direct link this to this blog. But, you can find them here and here.
A related YouTube video can also be found below.
All throughout Fulton County, our music therapists were busy preparing shows and videos for Exceptional Children's Week (ECW). ECW is an annual event that celebrates children and youth with exceptionalities and the professionals that serve them.
First up is a picture from Jessica Brodley-Lopez's ECW show at Vickery Mill Elementary School. The theme was "Sensationally Exceptional: 'Why fit in when you were born to stand out?'" inspired by Dr. Seuss.
Rachel Coon Arnott did an ECW show at Lake Windward Elementary. Pictures Below.
Brianna Henderson lead a group song to "What a Wonderful World" at Elkins Point Middle School for ECW. The video can be found below.
Joe Bailey and many students and teachers at Banneker High School were having fun celebrating the exceptional children. See below for a video and a few pictures.
Over at Alpharetta Elementary, Kirby Carruth was dancing and singing to sock hop tunes with a Bandstand themed show.
Emily Minkow helped to compile a video of all the exceptional students at Centennial High School. Video below.
And finally, over at John's Creek High School, Brittany Taylor-Stewart put together a JCHS Idol show where the students sang and danced.