Music Therapy

Monica Zidar, RMT has fifteen years of experience as a Registered Music Therapist. She has spent most of this time developing a special interest in music therapy and early intervention and is now the Music Therapy Advisor to Everyone Deserves Music Inc.. She currently provides music therapy to approximately seventy families who access support through an early intervention or special education program or from her private practice.

FaHCSIA (Australian Government Department Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs) has established a panel of early intervention service providers to deliver evidence-based services to eligible children as part of the Helping Children with Autism (HCWA) package. Monica Zidar, RMT is an approved therapist under this scheme and belongs to Shaping Outcomes’ and Autism Gold Coast’s consortium of therapists.

Who can access Music Therapy under the HCWA initiative:

  • Children under 7 years of age with an Autistic disorder, Asperger’s Disorder or another pervasive developmental disorder (e.g. PDD-NOS) who have a Letter of Introduction from the Autism Advisor in their state are eligible for up to $12000 of therapy services (to a maximum of $6000 per year).
  • Conducting therapy under the FaHCSIA initiative involves considerably more administration, planning time, meeting time, resources, training, specialist skills and team liaison, therefore our schedule of fees for these services are higher than our standard fees schedule.

Download our HCWA Schedule of Fees.

Frequently Asked Questions

As the Australian Music Therapy Association defines it, Music Therapy…

… is an allied health profession practised throughout Australia and in more than 40 countries around the world.

… is the planned and creative use of music to attain and maintain health and well being. People of any age or ability may benefit from a music therapy programme regardless of musical skill or background.

… focuses on meeting therapeutic aims, which distinguishes it from musical entertainment or music education.

… allows an individual’s abilities to be strengthened and new skills to be transferred to other areas of a person’s life.

Just as each child is very different, so are the reasons for referring your child to a Registered Music Therapist for assessment. Your child does not need to possess any musical ability at all to be able to meaningfully participate in a music therapy session nor do they need to be of a certain age. Research suggests that from within the womb, a baby can hear and react to music and that music helps to shape the neural pathways of the brain. In the early years of life, neural pathways are being shaped constantly, making early intervention with children with special needs crucial to maximise their developmental potential.

In a Music Therapy session, music is the tool used by the Registered Music Therapist to address one or all of the skill areas listed below.

A child can be referred because they require intervention to assist in the development of their:

  • speech/language/communication skills
  • motor skills (gross/fine)
  • sensory processing
  • social skills (waiting, turn-taking, listening etc)
  • literacy skills
  • numeracy skills
  • emotional awareness
  • cognitive (thinking) skills
  • self-confidence
  • self-expression
  • behaviour

If your child has a suspected or diagnosed disability or you have been informed that your child’s early intervention/special education program includes music therapy and are wondering what a Music Therapy program will look, feel and sound like – how will music therapy work? Well, the first and most important thing to know is that Music Therapy is a fun, positive and non-threatening therapy environment in which your child will be given the opportunity to flourish. The very nature of music as an endlessly versatile, universal language makes it the perfect tool to bridge the silent gap often heard in families of children with special needs.

Within special education, a Registered Music Therapist (RMT) is usually found working as part of an allied health and teaching team. The other professionals this type of team might consist of are a Speech Language Pathologist (SLP), Occupational Therapist (OT), Physiotherapist (PT) and Teachers. In this type of setting, all professionals, including the RMT, are working towards achieving the same goals as set out in each child’s Individual Education Plan (IEP). It is the RMTs job to plan the creative use of music to aid in the achievement of these goals. 

In a Music Therapy session, a RMT will usually play a guitar or piano/keyboard, sing and have a variety of untuned percussion instruments. As well as this musical equipment, the RMT may also bring along picture symbols and a repertoire of Makaton Key-Word signs to aid in communicating with your child as well as any other non-musical resources that may be required to most effectively assist in meeting the needs of your child.

There are several methods employed in Music Therapy and your child’s Music Therapy Program may include all of them or only one, depending on your child’s needs and the goals of the program. These include:

  • receptive methods – listening to live/pre-recorded music.
  • expressive methods – singing.
  • creative methods – engaging in song writing.
  • improvisational methods – engaging in the spontaneous, unplanned creation of instrumental/vocal interaction.

If you are in Southeast Queensland, Australia, feel free to contact Monica for further information regarding availability.  If you are wanting to join a community-based music therapy group then please click here for more information.

If you are elsewhere in Australia then you can find a Registered Music Therapist located closer to you by clicking here and following the link to the Australian Music Therapy Association Inc’s website.

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