Music Therapy

A class group vocalizes each time they hear their favorite song. When it is his turn Michael plays notes on the electronic keyboard in the holiday show. Shanea drums with hand over hand assistance. Rebekah hits a switch to sound her musical notes.

The sound of music is a pervasive and joyful part of life at HMS. From music therapy with individuals and class groups to jam sessions, sing-a-longs, hoedowns and performances, music offers students an important avenue for communication and self expression.

Music therapy motivates students to use words or to vocalize if they cannot speak, incorporating songs that reflect natural speech patterns and melody and lyrics that encourage children’s responses. Assistive technology—computer software, adaptive instruments and mounting devices—allows students to make music directly or through pre-programmed switches.

When reaching their arms for the keys, sounding drums with their feet, or activating electronic controls with their heads, music encourages body movement in children who are seated in wheelchairs much of the day. The power of the music motivates their movement.

"We never have to convince HMS about the value of the arts. Everyone there understands how transformational they can be for kids. The passion, talent and enthusiasm the students demonstrate truly inspire us."

Michael Norris, Executive Director, Art-Reach