Engaging Seniors through Musical Improvisation (7 CMTEs)

Self-Study. Learn more ways to use Musical Improvisation to encourage nonverbal self-expression, build self-esteem and communication skills. Can apply to other populations. 7 credits. 6 contact hours.

Payment options:

$64.00 / month for 3 month
Self Study

Sally Bonkrude MA, LPC, MT-BC

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Course Description

“Engaging Seniors Through Musical Improvisation” will cover ways to build trust and rapport through musical explorations. You will leave this training with ways to make and find instruments, plus know the best instruments to purchase, including Orff instruments. You will learn how to use Orff instruments with seniors to create musical improvisations to reduce stress, release frustrations, create a feeling of celebration and to tell a story.

Learn how to encourage self expression, plus improve self-esteem and communication skills. Finally, enjoy learning five ways to integrate movement into your music sessions for clients at different levels of mobility.

Here’s What People are Saying:

“This class provided practical examples of improvisation which could be applied to clinical work. I also liked that it gave me information about how to practice improvisation..”  Akiko N.

“One thing I learned in this course is how to adapt some interventions for adults with dementia. For example, using simpler emotion words/cards that would be recognized while improvising on percussive instruments.. I loved the positive energy and enthusiasm of the presenter..”  Charles R.

“There are several interventions I plan to incorporate into my “bag of tricks” — a variety of scarves, colorful pictures cut from magazines or calendars, a pair of drumsticks to create sounds anywhere. These will be especially useful with dementia clients.”  Linda R.

Learning Objectives:

1.Participants will be able to name 1 way to relax with music.
2.Participants will be able to list 1 way to use the ipad in improvisation.
3.Participants will be able to identify 1 way to use Orff Instruments with seniors.
4.Participants will be able to name 2 ways musical improvisation encourages nonverbal self-expression, builds self-esteem or builds communication skills.


Part 1

 Introductions and Overview of Webinar
 Working with Goals and Objectives as it relates to improvisation
What is client centered improvisation?
Instruments (purchased and created) plus Instrument iPad apps for Seniors
 The Voice in Improvisation
Exploring Orff with Seniors
 Explore Musical Ways to Build Trust and Rapport
 Creating Music for Relaxation
 Explore Ways to Integrate Movement into your sessions for clients of all levels of mobility

Part 2

Creating a Song of Celebration
Playing emotions
Musical Paper Game
Creating a Song of Celebration
Picture and Art Improvisations
A Musical Story
Resources to explore and share

5 hours of recordings and 1 hour Self-study assignment = 6 contact hours

CBMT Domain areas:

(II.D.6.a-e) Learn how to create goals and objectives for seniors.
(III.A.2.ss,tt,vv) Provide individualized music therapy experiences to address client’s: ss) self-awareness and insight; tt) self-esteem; vv) sense of self with others.
(III.A.4.g) Recognize how improvisational Music therapy treatment approach and model informs clinical practice.
(III.A.5.f,cc) Explore Orff instruments and other instruments to purchase, find or make for music therapy
(III.A.5.x) Explore the ipad for instruments to use in improvisation
(III.A.5.g,k) (III.A.2.tt,fff) Learn more ways to use musical improvisation with seniors to encourage nonverbal self-expression, build self-esteem and communication skills.
(III.A.5.j) Explore works to integrate movement into your sessions for clients of all levels of mobility 

Engaging Seniors Through Musical Improvisation is approved by the Certification Board for Music Therapists (CBMT) for 7 CMTEs-Continuing Music Therapy Education credits.  The Spiegel Academy, CBMT Approved Provider #P-106, maintains responsibility for program quality and adherence to CBMT policies and criteria.


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