Music therapy is a hit with several teachers in the Waynesville R-VI School District. A new program is being piloted this year at several schools.
Music therapy is designed to address physical, emotional, cognitive and social needs of individuals.
“My students totally enjoyed it,” said Justine Swain, Waynesville High School special education teacher.
A certified music therapist, Molly Duggins, started this week and will continue to serve Waynesville High School, Waynesville Sixth Grade Center, Waynesville Middle School, East Elementary and Freedom Elementary students twice a month, providing music therapy classes.
At Freedom Elementary, “the students thoroughly enjoyed it — adults, as well,” said Diana Mayes, special education process coordinator at Freedom Elementary School.
According to the American Music Therapy Associations’ website, after conducting a needs assessment, qualified music therapists can help students by assisting them through “creating, singing, moving to and/or listening to music.” By being involved in music therapy, students can not only strengthen their musical abilities, but research shows those strengths can transfer to other areas, including communication, movement and expression.
According to Dr. Elizabeth Washington, director of special services for the R-VI district, the pilot program will be evaluated over the course of the school year to determine how it will be used moving forward.
“We started with our largest populations of students who face challenges with communication, and if the pilot is successful, the program may be expanded next year,” Washington said.
(Editor’s note: Information provided by R-VI Communications and Marketing.)