Music Therapy program receives funding

Monday, January 16, 2012

For the eighth consecutive year, Dr. Michael Cassity, Drury University professor of graduate music therapy studies, has received a grant from the Lawrence and Barry County Tax Boards for the Developmentally Disabled to provide music therapy to residents in those areas.

The $122,640 grant funds a music therapy clinic in Monett that is a satellite of Drury's Center for Music Therapy and Wellness. The Monett Clinic is open five days a week, with services provided by Jessica Edwards, a board-certified music therapist.

The grant also provides funding for a clinical supervisory position held by Julie Cassity, MS, who is also a board-certified music therapist. Her office is located in Drury's on-campus music therapy clinic in Springfield.

Additionally, the Monett clinic serves as a local internship for music therapy students.

"The Monett clinic was established in 2004 with a grant in the amount of $38,736," said Michael Cassity. "Since that time, funding has increased due to the growing numbers of clients requesting music therapy services."

Since the grant was first awarded in November of 2003, the program has received a total of $850,000 in funding.

Clinical documentation and parental evaluation indicate that clients increase language and socialization skills following the initiation of music therapy services. Parents and guardians also report that clients seem happier, vocalize more and enjoy the music skills they are learning.

According to the American Music Therapy Association, music therapy is an established healthcare profession in which music is used within a therapeutic relationship to address physical, emotional, cognitive and social needs of individuals.

In addition to serving clients at the Monett clinic, outreach services are provided to on-site facilities in Cassville and Monett.

Additional support therapists at the center's Drury campus in Springfield are Leslie Richardson, a board-certified music therapist, Carrie Jenkins, who holds a masters in music therapy and is a board-certified music therapist, and Morgan Robertson, a board-certified music therapist.

Drury's bachelor of music program, which was established in 2002, has expanded to include the master of music therapy degree.

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