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It’s July, and we are officially planning patriotic session plans. Music therapy sessions can address several different domain areas all in one session plan. Below is a session plan we have used with our older adults in memory care and adult day centers. 

This Land is Your Land

Goal Area(s): Communication, Reminiscence, Self-Expression

Intervention Type: Songwriting

Protocol: Use this template to fill in the blanks by asking group members their favorite place to travel in the USA. 

This land is your land

This land is my land

From _________ to _________

From _________ to _________

This land was made for you and me


God Bless the USA

Goal Area(s): Cognitive Stimulation, Fine Motor Skills, Creative Self-Expression

Intervention Type: Active Music Making

Protocol: While playing a recording of Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the USA,” pass out tone bars, boomwackers, and push bells that fit into the F pentatonic scale (F,G,A,C,D). Engage group members to play their instrument when they feel inspired, because there will never be a “wrong note” with this special scale.


America the Beautiful

Goal Area: Fine Motor Skills, Self-Esteem, Positive One-on-one social engagement

Intervention Type: Playing the Q-Chord

Protocol: Play the chords to this song on the Q-Chord while group members individually strum, either independently or providing hand-over-hand assistance to strum at their own pace. 


Name that Military Tune 

Goal Area: Cognitive Stimulation, Positive Social Interaction

Intervention Type: Game

Protocol: Play or hum a live version of each branch of the military’s song and have group members identify the tune and which branch!


You’re a Grand Ol’ Flag

Goal Area: Gross Motor Skills

Intervention Type: Movement

Protocol: Play a recording to “You’re a Grand Ol’ Flag” and prompt group members to wave their flag to the beat of the song. They can mimic movements such as up & down, side to side, etc. 


Interested in music therapy with memory care groups or adults? Click here and contact us to learn how music therapy can benefit your facility. 

The post Patriotic Music Therapy Inteventions for Older Adults appeared first on The Groovy Garfoose.

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Summer is almost here! Music therapy is so flexible and personalized that we adapt our interventions for each season! Read below to learn more about some of our favorite summer music therapy songwriting interventions.

Go to the Pool
  • Goal Area: Activities of Daily Living
  • Population: All
  • Watch this video for incorporating piggyback songwriting and rhythm into learning an important skill for the summer — packing the pool bag!
I Know What You Did Last Summer
  • Goal Area: Social Skills, Self Expression
  • Population: Teens & Young Adults
  • Sing and rewrite the following lyrics to the tune of the 2015 pop hit!
I wanna know what you do in the summer, [Ah-ah]

What’s your favorite thing to do? [Hey-ey]

I know what you did last summer,  

Tell me where you’ve been?

I know what you did last summer, [Ah-ah]

Make a choice or just tell me [Hey-ey]

I wanna know what you do summer,

Tell me where you’ve been?

I like to _________________ in the summer

It’s my favorite thing to do

I like to _________________ in the summer

I’ve told you where I’ve been!


Lazy-Hazy-Crazy Days of Summer
  • Goal Area: Self-Expression, Reminiscence
  • Population: Seniors, Older Adults, Alzheimer’s & Dementia
  • Using a familiar tune and concrete choices (i.e.,some favorite summer foods) for a piggyback song that sparks social engagement and increased participation from older adults
Roll out those lazy-hazy-crazy days of summer

Bring out the ___________, the ________________, and _____________

Roll out those lazy-hazy-crazy days of summer

Dust off the sun & moon and sing a song of cheer!


Vacation Rap
  • Goal Area: Socialization, Memory Recall, Communication
  • Population: Children, Teens, Young Adults
  • If your family or a client goes on vacation, engage them in this rap-writing upon return for a fun reflection! Bonus: Make a beat in the background using instruments or Garageband on the iPad!
Summer vacation is the best

I get to take a break, and sometimes rest

I had lots of fun, let me tell you

All the cool things I got to do.

I went to ______________________________ on vacay

I want to tell you it was great.

I saw ___________________ and ____________________, too

Hanging out with my _____________________ was really cool

I ate lots of yummy food

_________________________ was my favorite; it tasted good.

We drove in our _____________________________________

It took _______________________________ hours. It was far!

Now I’m home, and I can look back

At my vacation and write this rap!


Interested in how you can get involved in music therapy this summer? Click this link to learn more and get a free 30 minute consultation!

The post Summer Music Therapy Interventions appeared first on The Groovy Garfoose.

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Music Therapy in Adult Day and Work Programs

While Adult Day Centers and Adult Work Programs typically serve adults with special needs each facility is very diverse.  As are the adults each program serves. Enter Groovy Garfoose Music Therapy Groups. Our music therapy programming provides adults with DD age-appropriate, layered social opportunities to communicate with their peers and self-express through music creation no matter the ability or diversity of each individual’s need.  Every week we bring themed session plans choc full of LIVE and recorded musical styles supported by hands on instrument playing, movement experiences with props and fill-in-the-blank songwriting individualized for each group. It’s amazing to see how each group responds to the theme rising to their full potential through music. From adapted instruments like the q-chord to unique songwriting experiences, each individual has the support to showcase his/her vast skill set, while still contributing to the group.

Session Planning: Where to Begin?

Session planning for adult groups revolves around a specific theme based on the season, holiday, weather, travel, sport, and much, much more. We carefully select a song list to correlate, not only with the theme, but to foster each individual’s physical, social, and communicative needs for maximum participation and engagement. Once the songs have been selected we curate music therapy experiences paired with adaptive instruments, visual choice boards, pre-structured songwriting experiences, and adaptive props to engage, motivate and foster participation within each group.

Session planning isn’t JUST for music therapists.  We LOVE to include our adults in the session planning process too! We have found it can: increase self-expression, collaboration, and responsibility. Group members have the ability to choose experiences, select dance moves from visuals, create musical ensembles, write original songs, create age-appropriate musical games to name a few.  Recently, group members worked together as a team to create a rhythmic loop in Garageband which served as the musical accompaniment to an original song they wrote. Group members discussed what style of music they liked, what beats meshed well together, and the overall feeling or theme they would like their song to have. When writing the lyrics, I provided structured support by printing a variety of pre-made lyrics based on the theme chosen. Group members individually decided on one of the lyrics provided to create a lyric mashup to flow over the beat they created together.  

What Does Group Music Therapy For Adults with DD Look Like?

30-40 minute weekly sessions are provided in each group’s designated area, whether that’s a community space or their work room. Group members and staff gather in a semi-circle to maximize group cohesion and social interaction with peers, MT, and staff. We want each group members’ feedback to be valued and equal.

Each session includes a greeting song, movement experience, expressive, songwriting experience, and group instrument play and individual instrument play experience in which group members take turns playing a solo for the group. Recently, our groups participated in a “Wacky National Holidays” theme in which music experiences were curated for traditional holidays like St. Patrick’s Day and Mardi Gras and wacky holidays like National Frozen Food Day, and Love Animals Day just to name a few. The songwriting experience for Love Animals day included rewriting realistic or silly verses to the famous song “In the Jungle” by The Tokens. Some original verses included “At Applebees the kangaroo eats breaded shrimp tonight” and “At home the dog takes a nap tonight.”

After the groups conclude, each member is given a summary of the session including pictures of instruments and description of experiences to share with family and friends as a communication support so the value of programming is communicated to caregivers, parents and staff.  We conclude every 5 to 10 week program with a performance in front of family, friends and staff so group members can showcase their talents and favorite experiences from the program. Being able to witness each group member showcase their skill set to their loved ones is an indescribable moment…we call that closure with a cherry on top!

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Music Therapy in schools, isn’t it GROOVY?!

I LOVE providing group and individual music therapy sessions for the amazing students in our community schools. There is nothing quite like bridging the gap between the various exceptionalities and needs of my students with an instrument jam or song writing experience. Students who typically work in a 1:1 setting to achieve their individualized goals, are able to spend time with peers, working as teammates, classmates and friends. Passing instruments, taking turns to improvise, answering questions to create an ensemble and/or song, are unique, socially rich experiences that music therapists are trained to provide in the classroom. As students work together in this supported environment, the music therapist is able to successfully address the individual needs of each person. Visual schedules, choice boards, adapted instruments, assisted communication devices, hand over hand supports, etc., are utilized to maximize active participation for each individual. The rewards for their valiant efforts? Music! Indeed, it is GROOVY.

What does Group Music Therapy look like in Schools??

Group music therapy sessions can occur weekly or bi-weekly. My students gather in a semi-circle, often around a kidney table, for a full 30-minutes.  If you were a fly on the wall, you would find that the music never stops. I capitalize on what I know to be true, grounded on evidenced based, music therapy research – and that is to establish a strong and steady beat paired with rhythmic directives, prompts and transitions. The elements of music – tempo, rhythm, form, dynamics, etc., are used prescriptively throughout my groups to promote the non-musical goals the students are working toward. Increasing socialization, taking turns with peers, increasing expressive communication and following directions are some of the goals addressed in my music therapy groups. Teachers receive weekly notes written for each student, so that their progress can be tracked.

Just this week my groups focused their efforts on increasing socialization through interacting with peers by passing instruments around the group, when musically prompted. All instruments were the color purple, as we were jamming to Prince’s “Purple Rain.”   Students each made their instrument choice from a field of 5 and began to play along with me. After some time to jam with their preferred instrument, a rhythmic directive – “3, 2, 1 and pass” was called out. Students then traded instruments by passing to their peers while I continued to guide them, rhythmically prompting as needed – “Joey pass to Sally. Sally pass to Sammy, etc.”

Working to follow directions was also a big focus for this week’s groups.  Imitating rhythmic stick patterns addressed this goal area. Tapping on the floor, tapping sticks together and then reaching the sticks up high while a “Rain and Thunder” chant was sung provided each group member with the opportunity to use a palmer grasp, cross midline, demonstrate gross motor movements and follow start/stop directions. However, students might say they most enjoyed using their imaginations to create animals out of their rhythmic sticks, as the song’s transition incorporated imaginative play by asking students to use the sticks to make “bunny ears,” “cat whiskers,” “walrus tusks,” etc., as the chant noted that these animals “want to go out in the rain.”

Addressing goals in a social setting can be a huge challenge when each person brings such a variety of abilities to the table. However, music therapy provides a safe, creative and adaptable outlet, where the hard work results in quite the symphony of sound!

Learn more and get a free consultation here:


What does IEP driven Music Therapy look like in Schools?

As much as I love working with my music therapy groups in the school setting, I find that addressing IEP goals in individual music therapy sessions to be highly valuable, as well. Once a student receives the appropriate SEMTAP or Special Education Music Therapy Assessment Process, to determine the need for music therapy on the IEP, sessions are catered specifically to that student.

For one of my students, music therapy is written into the IEP to support communication goals. I see this student on a weekly basis for a co-treat session, with the SLP. In this setting, music is used as a motivator to increase communication. I also spend time consulting weekly with this student’s teacher and paraprofessional to create therapeutic, social songs that have been used to help him transition to different classrooms and complete daily living skills, such as brushing teeth and washing hands.  

Some of my other students receive 1:1 music therapy sessions on a weekly basis to focus on creating errorless learning opportunities. These students are unable to engage in their world in an outwardly expressive way, as they don’t have the use of their limbs, voices, head/neck control, etc.  However, they can be fully immersed in sensory-rich music therapy experiences where vibro-tactile instruments provide immediate feedback. Even if they can’t physically grasp and manipulate the instruments and props, they can feel them as they are played overhead, near the feet, over the arms or legs, etc. Tracking instruments with colorful beads, light-up options or shiny surfaces, engage these students in a way that is unique to a music therapist’s wheelhouse.

IEP driven music therapy in the schools also ensures that weekly documentation on specific IEP goals is provided by the music therapist along with quarterly reports. Session length, ESY options and IEP meeting attendance is all under the umbrella of music therapy, when included on a student’s IEP.

Learn more and get a free consultation here:


By this point, can you tell I love working as a music therapist in the school setting? Every session – group or individual, is filled with amazing students who show up and show off their musical skills in their own unique ways. Goals are being addressed and met as music is being made. It can’t get much better than that!


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Can you think of a time you were moved by music? Made to smile, made to dance, made to cry? Chances are, you can think of more than a few.

Music is a universal language. It has the unique ability to cut through mental fog and alter our moods, with minimal effort from us as listeners. The human response to music is innate and inherent, and spans across all degrees of ability.

For children with autism, music therapy can increase quality of life, for life.

At the most basic level, engagement with music promotes self-determination, happiness, lower anxiety, and self-expression. On a deeper level, music therapy stimulates multiple parts of the brain at once to address multiple common challenges that come with living on the autism spectrum.

If you are considering connecting with a music therapist, you probably have questions.

What Makes Music Therapy so Beneficial?

The benefits of music therapy services are, in a way, up to you. At The Groovy Garfoose, we focus on setting goals—both musical and non-musical—so we can measure the effectiveness of your sessions.

When you join us for music therapy, one of our board certified music therapists will help you create a plan for your child’s success.

Aside from your family’s specific goals, music therapy has a great number of universal benefits for children with autism. It starts within the brain, and moves outward to your child’s behavior, temperament, social skills, communication skills, and then to their quality of life as a whole.

Your Brain on Music

The core domains of autism are social interaction, verbal communication, initiating behavior, and social-emotional reciprocity. The Cochrane Collaboration recently provided evidence that music therapy can help children with autism see improvements across these domains.

Music therapy helps strengthen the connection between the parts of the brain that need to collaborate in order for communication and sensory intake to happen smoothly. Music therapy also weakens the connection between brain regions that are commonly over-connected in people with autism.

In other words, music therapy helps bring people with autism toward a balance that makes it easier to take in stimuli and to communicate with others.

Music Therapy: How Does it Make Life Better?

As music therapists, we get the chance to see children with autism work toward their goals for higher qualities of life every day.

What does that look like? Music therapy makes life better in so many ways:

  • Provides success-oriented opportunities for non-linear learning and growth.
  • Helps establish response expectations, positive interactions, and organizations, thanks to the natural structure and sensory input that comes along with engaging with music.
  • Serves as a non-intimidating setting for making connections between a child and other people, or between a child and their environment, promoting social skills, self-expression, self-reliance, and communication skills.
  • Music naturally captures attention, so it is excellent for motivation and “reinforcing” desired responses.
  • Encourages children to participate in appropriate, socially acceptable ways by reducing negative or self-stimulatory responses.
  • Enables children without verbal language to express themselves and communicate nonverbally.
  • Assists in communication skills by practicing interpersonal timing and reciprocity, through shared play, taking turns, and listening and responding to other people.
  • Helps children notice, identify, and address their emotions in an appropriate manner.
  • Stimulates cognitive functioning and improves speech and language skills.
  • Provides auditory, visual, and tactile stimulation in a safe, predictable environment.
  • Enhances sensory-motor, perceptual/motor skills, and gross and fine motor skills thanks to the rhythmic, repetitive, organized nature of music.
  • Encourages children with autism to try new things in a predictable yet adaptable framework for learning.
Is Music Therapy Right for my Child?

When looking for music therapy, it can be difficult to determine what sort of environment and session style will be best for your child. To make that decision, you will need to know what to expect from each type of music therapy.

The Groovy Garfoose offers Neurologic Music Therapy for autism. Neurologic Music Therapy uses music to help people with autism execute non-musical cognitive functions at a higher level.

This type of music therapy focuses on the brain’s neurological processes, on top of social science models for increasing quality of life. So, while your child is enjoying the fun experience of playing music, their brain is reaping the benefits.

Session Settings for All

Music therapy sessions at The Groovy Garfoose are open to all ages and come in a few different formats: one on one sessions, group sessions, and social groups.

  • One on One Music Therapy Sessions: Private music therapy sessions connect your child intimately and exclusively to one of our board certified music therapists. Your child will learn through interactions with their therapist. Their goal is to help your child achieve their non-musical goals while boosting their self confidence and lifting their spirits with music.
  • Group Sessions: Group therapy sessions are especially effective in strengthening social skills within peer groups, since your child will be making music with other children, not just their music therapist. Group music therapy opens children up to a wide array of stimuli and sensory experiences. It provides practice for appropriate response in social situations, and opportunities to bond with new friends through music.
  • Social Groups: Want a more laid back, casual setting for your child’s music therapy experience? Social groups at The Groovy Garfoose give children with autism a chance to practice their social skills in a natural and structured environment. Groups of friends get together and bond through making music together, practice communicating, social sharing, and work toward their individual goals—and have a blast while they’re at it.
Can Adults Benefit from Music Therapy?

There is no age cutoff for the benefits of music therapy for people with autism.

If you are an adult with autism looking for music therapy, The Groovy Garfoose is the place for you! We work with individuals of all ages, from the age of diagnosis to the end of life.

At any age, music therapy builds communication skills and social skills, strengthens cognitive abilities, and encourages healthy self-expression.

What Can I Expect From a Music Therapy Session?

A good music therapy session should be focused on your child’s present needs and long-term goals.

The way that these goals are met will vary from child to child, but will always leverage the unique ability of music to impact the brain and provide feelings of safety and joy.

During your music therapy session, you can expect a variety of activities:

  • Music instruction with a variety of instruments
  • A hello song to signify the start of the session
  • A visual schedule to provide predictability, choice, and control
  • Your child’s preferred music
  • Following color-coded patterns on a drum, xylophone, bells, or keyboard
  • LIVE music with adjustments for tempo, key, and instruments depending on the needs in the moment
What Should I Look for in a Music Therapist?

In order for music therapy to be effective, you need to find a highly qualified, board certified music therapist who also personally connects with your child.

Setting Goals for Success

A music therapist should always be a trained professional. They work with their clients’ musical skills as a tool to reach non-musical goals.

Those goals should not be pre-established to fit every child the music therapist sees. A good music therapist works with their clients and their clients’ families to identify needs.

Those needs and goals can relate to behavior, cognitive skills, psycho-social skills, communication and language skills, sensory issues, and fine and gross motor skills. Goals will be selected and prioritized with the child’s best possible quality of life in mind.

Once needs are identified, your music therapist should help you choose specific, achievable goals for your child’s music therapy sessions. It is then their job to design every session to move your child closer to the achievement of those goals—while, of course, maintaining an enjoyable, safe, and growth-oriented environment.

How Will I know if my Child’s Music Therapy Sessions are Successful?

As your child attends their music therapy sessions, their music therapist will carefully document their responses. They will continuously evaluate the effectiveness of techniques and activities, and make recommendations for adjustments based on their observations.

To be considered a professional music therapist, an individual must have a bachelor’s degree (or higher!) from a college or university approved by the American Music Therapy Association. To obtain the bachelor’s degree, candidates must complete 1200 hours of clinical training, including an internship.

Board Certified Music Therapist: What Does it Mean?

When searching for the right music therapist for your child, you will want to make sure your candidates are all certified through the Certification Board for Music Therapists.

The Certification Board for Music Therapists is a third-party, accredited organization. Their purpose is to identify the music therapists who are able to practice music therapy at the current level of the profession, based on the therapist’s knowledge, skills, and abilities.

Once therapists complete the bachelor’s degree, they can take the national board certification exam to obtain the “MT-BC” (Music Therapist – Board Certified) credential.

All of the music therapists at The Groovy Garfoose are board certified music therapists, and engage in continuing education. With us, you can be sure that your child is always receiving research-based, high quality, up-to-date music therapy.

Why Choose The Groovy Garfoose?

At the Groovy Garfoose, our team of board certified music therapists works hard to provide music therapy that is up to date with the latest research, advances in technology, and best practice strategies.

We believe in the power of music and person-centered treatment to promote growth and wellness for every child.

If you’re interested in learning more about how music therapy can help your child with autism, reach out to us for a FREE thirty minute consultation!

The post How Does Music Therapy Benefit Children with Autism? appeared first on The Groovy Garfoose.

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Spring-Themed Music Therapy Sessions for Older Adults

Music therapists love a theme! Themes to sessions help to give focus and context for our clients to refer back to throughout. The songs listed below span several decades, and we typically use with older adults and memory care, but could be adapted for any population. 

1. TipToe Through the Tulips (1968)

This song was made famous by Tiny Tim on his ukulele. Perfect for the springtime, it can be used for an individual music making experience by engaging with our clients to strum the ukulele while the music therapist creates the chord shapes.

2. When the Red Red Robin Comes Bob Bob Bobbin’ Along (1954)

Birds start to tweet, the robins come out to make music, and so do we! Play a recorded or live version of this song while shaking an egg shaker to the beat.

3. Singin’ in the Rain (1952)

April Showers bring May Flowers, and you can make the most of the rain with this classic Gene Kelly song. Use it a movement or songwriting intervention by switching out the word “Singin’” with words like “Dancin’” “Shakin’” “Tappin’” for creative experience!

4. Spring by Vivaldi (1716)

With the season in its title, this classical song is a great way to introduce a new genre into your session plan. Use colorful scarves or mimic a tree blossoming for a creative movement experience.

5. Changes (1971)

Each season brings new changes. Play a recording or live version of the David Bowie song, and every time you hear the phrase ch-ch-ch-ch-changes, change what instrument you’re playing or how you’re playing it!

6. Over the Rainbow (1939)

After all those spring showers, we hope a beautiful rainbow appears. This American Songbook classic can be used in several interventions, including songwriting about what you may see over the rainbow!

7. Spring Vacation (2012)

This new Beach Boys song gets us ready for spring break!  “Looking ahead, with anticipation. Making each day a new celebration.”

8. I Love a Rainy Night (1975)

Spring is filled with rainy days and nights! What other kind of nights do you love? Starry or spooky? Use this song for a fun songwriting intervention

9. Cherry Pink & Apple Blossom White (1955)

The trees begin to blossom in the spring. This instrumental version of a classic song is a great time to break out the bongos and have a creative drum circle.

10. Green Green Grass of Home (1968)

We finally start to see some fresh green grass in spring. This song is a great opportunity for lyric analysis of what makes us love our home.

Listen to our spring playlist below and enjoy this new season! 

Tiny Tim - Tip Toe Thru' The Tulips With Me (Official Audio) - YouTube
Doris Day - When the Red, Red Robin Comes Bob, Bob, Bobbin' Along [1954] Long Version - YouTube
Singing In The Rain - Singing In The Rain (Gene Kelly) [HD Widescreen] - YouTube
Vivaldi - Spring - YouTube
Changes (2015 Remastered Version) - YouTube
Somewhere Over the Rainbow - The Wizard of Oz (1/8) Movie CLIP (1939) HD - YouTube
Spring Vacation - YouTube
I Love a Rainy Night - YouTube
Green, Green Grass of Home (Live at Folsom State Prison, Folsom, CA - January 1968) - YouTube

The post Top 10 Songs to Use in Spring Music Therapy Sessions for Older Adults appeared first on The Groovy Garfoose.

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The Groovy Garfoose by Bonnie Hayhurst - 4M ago

Making Music Therapy Accessible

As we continue to celebrate 10 years in business here at The Groovy Garfoose, we want to see music therapy accessible to everyone. While music therapy in the state of Ohio doesn’t have a strong track record of being reimbursable through insurance (yet!), there are lots of other funding options for music therapy.  

How do I Pay for Music Therapy?

Today we’re sharing a list of financial resources for families looking for supplemental or financial support for music therapy services.  The best part of this list of resources is that these are not specific to any one therapy.  In addition to music therapy, many of these financial resources can be put towards costs for speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, ABA, art therapy, therapeutic riding and more. Click on each resource below to be directed to their website and learn more.

Funding for Music Therapy

Rec 2 Connect Foundation – This local foundation started by Jen Knott provides quarterly scholarship opportunities for individuals with special needs to apply towards a variety of recreation therapy based services including music therapy services.  Learn more about this awesome organization and how they are making an impact in Northeast Ohio with the special needs community.

Zane’s Foundation – Stacey Youseff, a parent of a son with Autism, founded this local organization to provide funding assistance to children and adults with disabilities for therapeutic necessities (like music therapy!) not covered by insurance, government agencies or other resources.  The ultimate goal of Zane’s is to help each individual reach their maximum potential so that they have the opportunity to become a contributing member of society.  Learn more about how to apply for a scholarship here.

Different Needz Foundation –  This organization, located in Chagrin Falls, Ohio has a mission to provide grants to individuals with developmental disabilities, their families and organizations that support them for medical equipment and/or services including music therapy services.  Learn more about scholarship deadlines and application procedures here.

County Board of Developmental Disabilities – Many county boards provide funding supports for families seeking.  At the Groovy Garfoose, we have had success billing Music Therapy Services through Summit County FEP (Family Engagement Program), Lake County FSS (Family Support Services), Cuyahoga County Family Supports Program, and Family Supports Services of Portage County.  

ASP – The Autism Scholarship program provides scholarship to parents of children with autism ages 3-21 that are looking for an alternative special education program other than the one operated by the school district of residence for their child to receive their education as outlined in the child’s individualized education program (IEP) including therapeutic supports like music therapy.  See the ASP website for qualification and application details.

JPS – The Jon Peterson Scholarship program provides scholarships to students who are eligible to attend kindergarten through 12th grade and have an Individualized Education Program (IEP) including therapeutic supports like music therapy. The amount of each scholarship is be based on the primary disability condition identified on the student’s Evaluation Team Report (ETR). See the JPS website for qualification and application details.

SELF Waiver – The Self-Empowered Life Funding (SELF) waiver is a cost-capped Medicaid home and community-based services waiver for Ohioans with intellectual or developmental disabilities. Although the SELF waiver provides an enrollee the ability to direct and manage his or her own services (known as “participant direction”), exceptions do apply.  Learn more about how to obtain funding that could be used for music therapy services through the SELF Waiver program here.

How do I Get Started with Music Therapy?

Music Therapy services start with an assessment to determine the needs of the person and create a treatment plan for therapy.  Contact us today for a FREE phone consultation to learn how music therapy can help your family member!

The post Funding Music Therapy appeared first on The Groovy Garfoose.

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Learn about the instruments that we have grown to love and use consistently in our music therapy practice.

The Q-Chord is the modern day autoharp. It is easy to use, creates several unique sounds, and anyone can make beautiful music with just one touch!

The Ocean Drum literally mimics the sound of the ocean for a relaxing or stimulating sensory experience.


The Clatterpillar is actually a nickname for the kokoriko. This fun Japanese instrument looks like bug!



The Rhythm Sticks are simple but effective. All you need is 2 sticks to keep a beat and be musical.



The Piano is a instrument that encourages exploration for any musician as well as being a strong, steady, and grounding force.

The Cabasa is a small percussion instrument that can played in so many different ways. Twist it, shake it, on your knee, on your shoulder, you name it! See our video on sensory stimulation for a more detailed look on this instrument and the next.



The Guitar is a music therapist’s best friend. It is the most portable accompanying instrument, plus with adapted chords, it can be rewarding to learn. Interested in an adapted lesson? Click here.


The Push Bells are an adaptive, easy way to play melodies and for a group to accompany themselves.

The Gathering Drum is an drum that keep a strong steady beat that makes a big sound.  Whether it’s in a drum circle or an individual session, drumming is powerful. Check out this video about saying positive affirmations to a beat.

We love the Ukulele because it is easy to learn, fun to play, and you can take it with you just about anywhere. We teach adapted uke lessons. Click here to find out more.


The post Top 10 Instruments That Music Therapists Swear By appeared first on The Groovy Garfoose.

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Calling all music therapy, art therapy, art education and special education college students…

GG Summer Camp is BACK!  And we need YOU!  We are so excited to offer our 8th camp This is Me: Music, Art, & Dance Camp this Summer 2019! 

To ensure this is our best camp yet, The Groovy Garfoose is seeking student volunteers with relevant education training eager to gain experience working with teens and adults 15 and up of all abilities. Volunteers will have opportunities to support and encourage camper participation (i.e., staying on task, passing out instruments, providing hand-over-hand assistance , socialization) in addition to observing music therapists and art educators in action.  Camp is only as successful as the people that run it, and we hope you will consider helping us make it AWESOME! Here’s what that entails…

As in Summers past, we are anticipating 10-20 campers per camp.  Each day of camp will start as a group.  During this social time, we will learn our theme song and introduce the movie theme for that day.  Then we will divide campers into three small groups.  Each group will rotate through 30 minutes of creative arts experiences (Dance, Art, Music).  The end of each camp will conclude with a group experience wrapping up the theme of the day.  Volunteers will spend the entire week supporting one group of campers through each arts experience for consistency.

We are looking for energetic volunteers willing to jump in and learn even if you are new to our camp or special needs in general.  Volunteers must arrange their own transportation to and from camp and be willing and able to commit to the entire week of camp to provide consistent support and familiarity to campers.

Mayfield Camp: June 17-21, 2019  4-6pm Daily 435 SOM Center Rd. Mayfield, Oh Hudson Camp: June 24-28, 2019 4-6pm Daily 47 Aurora St. Hudson, Oh

If you’d like to volunteer for one or both of our camps, please click the volunteer button below to complete our volunteer form.

The post Volunteer for Groovy Garfoose Summer Camp appeared first on The Groovy Garfoose.

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