Music Therapy

What is music therapy?

Music therapy is the strategic use of music toward emotional, physical, cognitive and communication gains in persons of all ages and with various challenges. In the case of a child receiving music therapy, the child can learn how to play instrument(s) through adaptive instruction, learn how to improvise with various instruments, move to music for increased physical coordination and impulse control, listen to music in order to increase attention and possibly share projective thoughts with the therapist, sing along with the therapist for the development of both expressive and receptive language. These are just a few of the many ways in which music can help a child develop in a positive and enjoyable way.

Why would I be interested in music therapy for my child? 

If you consider music lessons for your child, you appreciate the value of music making and would like to see your child progress and develop skill as a musician. If your child is having difficulty making progress, you may not realize that there are other trained professionals (i.e. the music therapist) who could find other means to make your child’s music making more enjoyable and, in fact, developmentally helpful. Our licensed Music Therapist is available via phone appointment to discuss music therapy with you, or at a designated workshop where she will present sample videos regarding music therapy, share fact sheets from the American Music Therapy Association, experience some music making with you and answer your questions about music therapy with children.


Should I choose individual or group music therapy?

Creating a group for music therapy can be based on children at similar levels of developmental functioning and is typically best for children who are developmentally three years old and older. The group members can support each other by playing simple orchestrations with each other (designed for music therapy), following movement activities together, singing ‘here and now’ songs that encourage language and learning how to socialize together in a productive way.

Music Therapist

Ms. Karen Goodman is a Professor of Music Therapy, Montclair State University and Registered Music Therapist, recognized by the American Music Therapy Association. She has worked with children with special needs for several decades, she enjoys working with children and there is no greater reward for her than personally watching a child progress through the music making experience. Ms. Goodman is a senior clinician, teacher, author and lecturer.


Additional Information

Karen D. Goodman conducted research-based clinical work in child and adult psychiatry and neurodevelopmental disabilities at facilities throughout the Greater New York area including New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center, Creative Arts Rehabilitation Center, Child Development Research Center, Communication Disorders Demonstration Program-MSU, and Regional Day School at Morris. 

She has lectured at conferences and other university programs in Argentina, Australia, Austria, Canada, China, Israel, Korea ,Norway, the United Kingdom and the United States presenting issues germane to both her clinical techniques (assessment, sensory integration, musical process in schizophrenia, DIR in music therapy, group music therapy, music and poetry) , supervision and educating music therapists. 

Former Editor-in-Chief of Music Therapy: The Journal of the American Association for Music Therapy, Professor Goodman serves on the Editorial Board to both the International Journal of Clinical Medicine and Higher Education, Teaching and Learning , the publication of the International HETL Association; she also provides editorial consulting to Oxford, Pearson and Routledge. 

Goodman's work is widely published and distributed in more than 70 countries through conference proceedings, on-line commentary, peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters and the following books:Music Therapy Groupwork with Special Needs Children:The Evolving Process (Goodman, 2007); Music Therapy Education and Training: From Theory to Practice (Goodman, 2011) ; International Perspectives in Music Therapy Education and Training: Adapting to a Changing World (Goodman, 2015). 

Currently overseeing program assessment for the Cali School of Music and providing oversight for the music therapy programs, Professor Goodman served as Coordinator, Music Therapy for two decades, founding the graduate program in 1998, and has been a primary contributor to curriculum development throughout the College of the Arts. 

She serves as a Senior Music Therapist through the Preparatory Division of the John J Cali School of Music, as Affiliate Faculty to the Center for Autism and Early Childhood Mental Health and as a Visiting Specialist for the Department of Psychology (Winter/Summer) .