Welcome to the maiden post of Music Moves, a blog for the musical child in all of us! Here you’ll find insights from the world of Music Therapy in North Dakota with information on local happenings and resources to help you learn about the benefits of accenting your life through music.
A little bit about me (Natasha Thomas, MT-BC):
I am a graduate of the University of North Dakota (Bachelor of Music in Music Therapy) and Board Certified Music Therapist, serving the Grand Forks Public Schools through Music Therapy in Motion (owned by Emily Wangen), and individuals statewide through North Dakota Vision Services/School for the Blind (NDVS/SB), and ND School for the Deaf. I work predominantly with children, though I do serve adults in a few locations, like LISTEN Day Services and the LISTEN Drop-In Center.
What I do as a Music Therapist:
Music Therapy is the prescribed use of music by a qualified professional to address non-musical goals. More specifically, Board Certified Music Therapists (or “MT-BC”s) use singing, playing, listening, and moving to music to enhance individuals’ physical, cognitive, socio-emotional and behavioral well being. A Music Therapy session for example might include activities for children to practice turn taking by participating in strumming the Therapists’ guitar one at a time, or strengthen their motor skills by playing a drum while marching in a circle. Music Instruction can also be used as Therapy, but it is necessary to distinguish that Music Therapists are not necessarily Teachers (and vice versa!) though in my work at with NDVS/SB I do additionally teach and transcribe Braille Music.
The Purpose of this Blog:
This Blog is for any individual looking to learn how music can enhance their own life or the lives of their loved ones, co-workers, or friends. Weekly posts will include such topics as “how music can aid academic learning”, “using music for stress relief”, and other perspectives on the many ways in which music can impact your life. Take home ideas, information for connecting with Board Certified Music Therapists, and other resources will abound for you to learn from and share at home, in the workplace, and beyond!
So here’s a little preview! Local Music Therapy happenings:
In addition to following this blog, there are several ways you can be a part of the Music Therapy scene in North Dakota:
1. Check out the links provided on this page for information and resources – The UND Music page and Emily Wangen’s website in particular are very useful if you’re looking to connect with MT-BC’s statewide!
2. Drop-In to the LISTEN Center on 624 N. Washington for my FREE Group Sessions for Children Wednesday nights! PreK/Family group geared towards younger children, but open to older siblings and their parents starts at 5:30pm.
3. Stop by our Monthly Drum Circles at 12 Houses, usually on the last Saturday of every month at 7pm (8pm during the Summer months). Instruments are provided and sessions are FREE and open to the public! During the summer months, we drum downtown by the greenway – NO MUSIC EXPERIENCE REQUIRED and Kids are Welcome!
It is my hope that you’ll stop by this blog once in a while for updated info on more events and resources like those listed above in your community. I welcome your comments, questions, and suggestions for topics on this page, and hope you’ll find those areas I do cover useful for waking that inner music child and adding some accents to your life!