Degrees and Certifications:

What is Music Therapy?


Music Therapy is the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music therapy program. (American Music Therapy Association definition, 2011)

Amanda Ellis is a board certified music therapist and works with our low-incidence populations.  Amanda uses music to support, engage and motivate students with disabilities in attaining non-musical goals and skills necessary for their educational program.  

Using a group music therapy model, Amanda provides music therapy classroom (group) sessions that are specifically designed to focus on the content each classroom teacher is teaching.  Amanda also designs visuals, records songs and creates multimedia presentations for teachers and students to access daily as part of their instruction.  Students engage with the multimedia presentations and learn through the repetition of songs.

Music Therapy group sessions allow for various modes of instruction and serve the educational needs and unique learning styles of students in an engaging way. Students receive many opportunities to demonstrate knowledge, mastery and generalization of skills. 

Music Therapy Moments

Students love playing instruments during music therapy sessions! Students get the opportunity to work on fine motor skills, following directions and impulse control in a fun way.

Academic skills and information are reinforced during music therapy sessions. In this song, students are learning about community helpers. The students are also increasing their attention span and attention to task as well as responding to a musical cue before the question, "What would I do?"

During music therapy sessions, we use music to reinforce social and behavioral goals. In this video, students are presenting a song written for the book, Hands are not for Hitting by Martine Agassi Ph.D.

  • Students in Ms.Joyner's classroom at Ayden-Grifton high school high school are learning to play "Jingle Bells" with resonator bells. 

    Students are quickly learning how to read a color chart that corresponds with the colors of each resonator bell.  Students practice following directions, turn taking and joint attention during this activity.