In traditional music education, the goal of lessons and classes is to improve musical technique and performance. In music therapy, music is used as a tool and as the means to approach and achieve non-musical goals. At Valley Collaborative, these goals include, but are not limited to: improved social and group skills, improved communication skills, and the practice and generalization of goals from other disciplines. These may include goals from speech therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and the classroom. Working closely with the classroom teachers, speech and language pathologists, counselors, and other team members, The Board Certified Music Therapist (MT-BC) designs goals and interventions based on the specific needs of each group and of the individuals in each group.
Music Therapy involves active participation by group members. Common music therapy interventions include, collaborative songwriting, recording projects, instrumental improvisations, computer based music making, musical games, choice making, copying and memory activities, music listening and discussion, and music instruction. Students receiving music therapy are exposed to a wide range or musical instruments, techniques, and concepts. As music education often has many incidental therapeutic benefits, music therapy has many incidental musical benefits. At Valley Elementary school all students gain experience with music consistent with Massachusetts education standards.