West Point music therapist offers children's classes, personal service

•Reduce muscle tension

•Reduce anxiety, depression, and stress

•Reduce chronic pain

•Improve self-image

•Increase verbalization

•Enhance interpersonal relationships

•Improve group cohesiveness

•Provide a successful and safe emotional release

While at Eastern State, Haley worked with a patient who had heard voices for decades, but was able to get relief through musical therapy.

"When we engaged in clinical musical improvisation, he enthusiastically drummed with me for 35-40 minutes," she said. "While processing our experience afterwards, I asked him if the voices had bothered him. He said they had not and it was so powerful for him to realize that he could give himself a break from the voices by drumming and, more importantly, that there was still a part of him that was healthy and whole, that hadn't been broken by his mental illness."

"It was a real turning point for him in his recovery."

Improvisation, or the spontaneous creation of music using the voice, instrument, and body, is just one of the ways in which musical therapists work with clients.

The other three ways are:

Receptive: Includes listening and responding to live or recorded music.

Recreative: Focuses on singing and playing pre-composed music.

Composition: Creating vocal and instrumental pieces.

"This is the work I was meant to do and I love it," Haley said.

For more information on Kindermusik classes in West Point, or music therapy, please call Haley at: 804-843-843-2842 (corrected number).

Information courtesy American Music Therapy Association

Martin can be reached by phone at 804-885-0040.