2016-02-25 / News

Music therapy isn’t well established here in Maine, but one Arundel resident is working to change that with “Be Your Note” Music Therapy Services.

Patricia Mulholland MA, MT-BC, NMT, along with two other practicing music therapists in the state, are working with the American Music Therapy Association on a task force to achieve formal recognition by the Maine State Legislature so that music therapy can be part of patient treatment, with services reimbursed by insurance companies. “The goal is to be part of a multi-disciplinary healthcare team,” she said. slowly, but surely, I’ve been growing my practice,” added Mulholland, who graduated from the music therapy program at Berklee College of Music.

Mulholland, who trained at Seasons Hospice of Music Therapy at Colorado State University, said music therapy is used in Boston hospitals and health care centers throughout the country.

Music therapy can successfully address non-musical goals and there’s plenty of science to support that, Mulholland said. “I like to think of it as the meeting of science and art,” she added.

A number of issues can be addressed through music therapy, including depression, Alzheimer’s disease/ dementia and brain injury. Currently she offers music therapy in a number of healthcare facilities and sees individuals and couples privately in her studio. Right now she’s working with a woman who used to sing, but has aphasia from a stroke she experienced 12 years ago. Mulholland also offers music therapy during hospice treatment and as part of lessons in leadership communication.

Passionate about growing the profession, she often lectures to healthcare and community organizations to educate people about music therapy. Her presentations include theoretical material and a lively experiential music therapy experience.

“I also work with women who have issues with their voice,” Mulholland said, adding that her clients don’t have to be people who used to sing or even play a musical instrument. “Women often have some sort of challenging that they don’t like the sound of their voice or they feel as though they’re not being heard,” she said.

Mulholland has worked with “A Place to Start” out of Kennebunk, which offers resources and support for loved ones of those affected by Alzheimer’s, and offers programs about how music can engage people, especially older people, emotionally and cognitively.

“Even patients who are far along with Alzheimer’s can remember lyrics to songs from their youth, and so it feels a bit like a miracle seeing people who are quite impaired, and they’re singing,” she said.

Music therapy also involves engaging a person physically. Mulholland said a typical session will start with a musical greeting and a rhythmic song, often, blues, and hand percussion instruments to get a client moving. She also works with themes, such as Valentine’s Day and change in seasons.

Older people, she said, usually respond to patriotic and spiritual songs. “It’s really about engaging them,” Mulholland said, adding that she’ll work with any kind of music a client prefers.

To learn more about Be Your Note, visit beyournote.com or call 467-3372.

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