Music, With Benefits – By Erin Monie


 

Living in the LV instills a recurring reaction in the psyche that accompanies the progression of summer. As the days heat up, we find ourselves craving music and anticipating the long awaited return of Musikfest. It’s unavoidable, really…

 

Sunday’s must-attend music event, however, wasn’t that of crowded venues and long lines. Instead, it was found in the air conditioned comfort of Faith Lutheran Church in Easton. In the event you may have heard the sound of a drum, acoustic guitars, maracas and tambourines and were curious about the source of these melodious sounds, simply ask Kathy Purcell MT-BC, Director of Music Therapy Associates & Leslie McKelvey, founder of the Easton Area Parent Support Group.

This power duo teamed up to share the healing benefits of music with attendees from Sunday’s Easton Area Parent Support Group, which is comprised of families that all share similar challenges which accompany the task of navigating special education as it applies to the autism spectrum. They meet monthly, creating a great environment for parents to connect with each other, often providing each other an understanding ear as well as advice on the various challenges they face.

Meetings are held monthly at Faith Lutheran Church, located at 2012 Sullivan Trail in Easton and each meeting hosts a different speaker on varying topics such as health care, special education and in yesterday’s case, music therapy. Families who would like more information are welcome to contact Leslie either via email or via phone at (610) 554-1988. There is a closed Facebook group that can be joined here.

This month’s meeting was filled with music and smiles, as Kathy and three of her music therapists, Chris Morrison, MT, Alyssa Adlerfer, MT-BC and Kim Needham, MT-BC educated parents on the benefits of music therapy, and entertained and indulged the kids with the opportunity to make music of their own. There was no lack of smiles, from either the kids or their parents!

Purcell explained that the therapeutic benefits of music therapy aren’t limited to just children, either, but to anyone with a heartbeat. With a time-commitment of about an hour a week (with the time dependent on the individual), benefits can be experienced for a range of issues from fine & gross motor coordination to an increase in verbal communication and speech clarity.

Music Therapy Associates is located on MacArthur Road in Whitehall, and is currently accepting new clients. Further information can be obtained by visiting their website or by contacting Kathy via email or by phone at (610) 740-9890.

Upcoming meetings for the Parent Support Group include Sunday, July 10th, featuring Kimberly Minor from Special Kids Network and Sunday, August 14th with Attorney Angela Uliana-Murphy, who will be covering the evaluation process, Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA) and Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports (PBIS). Both meetings are from 2-4PM, and children are always welcome.

 

more articles by Erin Monie…