2018 CMTES


3 CMTES – Thursday 1-4 

Advanced Training in Music Therapy and Dementia

Suzanne B. Hanser, EdD, MT-BC; Melissa Mercadal-Brotons, PhD, MT-BC, SMTAE

This training will begin with the neurological affections in different phases of dementia, with an explanation of implications for the music therapy treatment of the person with dementia. The presenters will review the latest findings in mechanisms affecting different forms of dementia, treatment options, and potential avenues for cure. Research on the preservation of musical memory and other evidence will be discussed. In learning to assess biopsychosocial, spiritual, and music therapy needs, the presenters will define therapeutic objectives for people in the different phases of dementia, and relate scientifically verified outcomes of music therapy directly to clinical applications.

Programs for engaging caregivers will be discussed and a research study will be presented. Social programs for community-dwelling elders with mild cognitive decline will also be shown.

Live demonstrations will include: role plays of music therapy sessions for groups of people who have dementia (emphasizing behavioral, social and cognitive goals); communication techniques; music-facilitated stress management, and other evidence-based strategies.




5 CMTEs – Thursday 1-6

Keeping in Time With Groove

Nir Sadovnik, MA, MT-BC, LCAT. Ariel Weissberger, MA, MT-BC, LCA

We will begin by exploring through lecture and group discussion the concept of groove from a theoretical perspective. The etymology of the term, the evolution of its vernacular use, and various views from the literature will be presented. Although it may be initially considered a subjective term, a closer examination reveals that it is frequently used to articulate a specific type of musical experience. Often it is associated with a driving, danceable, and complex rhythmic pattern. Groove oriented music will be defined as music that gains its aesthetic quality mainly from the cyclical, organic, and tension-laden relationship between its rhythmic accents and the implied metric pulse.The benefits and challenges of applying groove oriented music in music therapy will be presented and discussed as a group. Ideas about when and how to incorporate groove in one’s clinical practice will be exemplified through audio samples and case vignettes. A special focus will be given to cultural, aesthetic, and technological considerations regarding the use of groove. The second part of the program will be dedicated to acquiring specific technical skills needed to facilitate improvisations based on four common grooves; Funk, Reggae, Salsa and Hip Hop. We will learn through active involvement, playing simple bass lines, melodic and rhythmic patterns, montunos and drum beats as a group. We will be focusing on achieving the rhythmic flavor associated with these various grooves. Sheet music will be provided. Structuring simple Hip-Hop grooves on Garageband software will be demonstrated as well. Participants will explore their personal grooves in our final “educational jam session,” as each member will get a chance to lead the group in their own spontaneous groovy concoctions.



5 CMTEs – Thursday 1-6

Lessons for Everyone from Hospice Music Therapy

Lisa Kynvi, MA, MT-BC, LMHC

There are many skills and lessons that I have learned from working for over a decade in hospice music therapy. This presentation concentrates on offering those skills that seem to be useful for clinicians working in any population.

The CMTE will be divided into three major parts:

Working with people who are highly vulnerable/fragile

The what’s-important lessons

Facing Our Own Mortality

Each of the sections will include some didactic, some discussion, and some experiential learning.

The first section, working with highly vulnerable clients, will cover topics like beauty and aesthetics and how these hold and open clients; an in-depth look at HOW we do what we do, including facial expression & body language, where we place ourselves, how we use our voices and guitars, and how we respond musically to subtle non-verbal communications from clients (breath, facial expression, energy).

The second section addresses specific lessons I have learned from working with this population. These include the importance of: presence, moving toward, settledness in yourself, giving back, self-care, acknowledgement of race, ethnicity, culture, LGBTQ+ status, cultural humility (becoming a student of the client’s culture), new concepts of hope & non-attachment to outcomes, acknowledging our own grief & other emotions, and others.

The third major section asks us each to face our own mortality, and shows us the benefits of doing so, both to our work with any population, and also to our lives. We will discuss themes that arise when people are near end of life, and we’ll learn a process for coping with emotions called RAIN, an an acronym for Recognize, Allow, Investigate, and Non-Attachment. We’ll encounter a number of legacy recordings my patients have made as they near end of life, and will work to recognize and process our responses to them using RAIN.



5 CMTEs – Saturday 2:15-7:15

(FREE for AMTA members)


Bob Bloom / Master Teaching Artist

You’ll learn how to build “Drum Teams” that love to perform for their friends, families, caregivers, and communities.

Kids, teens, adults, and seniors will be engaged to sing and move with percussion instruments. They’ll practice with you to perform for audiences in settings including education, recreation, eldercare, healthcare, social work, and concert.

The workshop teaches drumming, rehearsal, and performance skills. You’ll take away:

* Methods to play percussion instruments musically and comfortably

* “BB’s Common Household Rhythms”

* Techniques to create drumming patterns

* Skills to simultaneously sing and play percussion

* Team leadership tools

* How to design music activities that meet state and national standards of learning and STEM protocols

* Ideas to choose a mix of percussion instruments that meet your needs for musicality, durability, accessibility, budget, storage, and transportation.

Instruments and accessories are provided for the workshop. Please feel free to bring your favorite percussion instruments and melodic instruments. Handouts are given. You’re encouraged to bring an audio recorder.



3 CMTEs – Saturday 2:15-5:15

Modalvational Speaking: (a harmonic-based approach to understanding and using the modes)

Adam Sankowski, M.Ed., MT-BC

What modes are, and how they can be used, can be confusing! They are often taught in a variety of totally different ways, which are all correct at the same time, which adds to the confusion! I will bravely admit that somehow I made it through music school completely clueless, and it wasn’t till I looked at them using this system years later, that they started to make sense. At first I thought that only I was confused. But then, while supervising music therapy students and interns for many years, I discovered that I was far from the only person who was struggling. This is where the inspiration for this CMTE came from.

There will be three main goals/ sections to this CMTE: 1) Explain why modes are so important and then to change our thinking around them to a “can do” growth-mindset. 2) To demonstrate and explain how to view modes harmonically through writing out chord scales (you can do this, I promise!) and 3) To demonstrate how each mode can be used in clinical practice though associated songs and familiar/ common chord progressions.

I would like to think that this is a “different” approach and hopefully one that will help modes click for you too. Song examples, hands-on-playing, and discussion will be used throughout. This class does have a hands-on component and you are welcome to bring an instrument. The level of theory in this class should be understandable for all but it will help for you to have a working understanding of the circle of 5ths, how basic minor and major triads are constructed, and what chords are in a major key. These are recommended prerequisites but not required, and I will work hard to make sure that anyone can get something from this session.



3 CMTES – Saturday 2:15-5:15

Repetoire Builder: Hymns, Gospel and Contemporary Worship music

Taryn R. Thomas MA, MT-BC

Repertoire building: Participants will learn to play and sing various arrangements of frequently requested hymns, gospel and Contemporary worship songs. this will include; Chord progressions commonly used in gospel, vocal improvisation, call and response. Participants will learn to identify ways to use gospel music effectively; how to transition between songs smoothly, vocal and instrumental improvisation. Participants are encouraged to bring guitars, keyboards, percussion instruments, any other instruments also welcome.



CMTE courses are pre-approved by CBMT #P-063

Pre-requisites are not required to take CMTEs

Cancellations will be honored until April 19th, 2018, less a $25 processing fee.


All CMTEs are approved by the Certification Board for Music Therapists (CBMT) for the stated number of Continuing Music Therapy Education credits.  The American Music Therapy Association – New England Region, P-063 maintains responsibility for program quality and adherence to CBMT policies and criteria. 

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