November 12, 2013
September 30, 2013
Springfield, Mo., September 30, 2013 — One program that makes Drury University different is its music therapy major — a program that is only offered at about 60 other schools in the United States. Drury’s program started in 2001.
According to Drury’s registrar’s office, 2003 was the first year Drury students declared music therapy as a major. There were only six majors ten years ago, now, there are 46 students involved in the program.
Dr. Natalie Wlodarczyk (Wool-dar-zick), professor and board certified music therapist, said that the field has received more national attention.
“I think music therapy has gotten a lot of publicity in the last few years nationally in a way that we haven’t before. People tend to think it’s a new field, but it’s actually been around since World War II,” Wlodarczyk explained. “Music therapy started as a way to work with returning veterans who were coming back after WWII with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and also with physical injuries as a way to help them both emotionally deal with what they had been through and then physically rehabilitate them using music.”
At Drury, music therapy majors must complete 138 credit hours and become proficient in three instruments to receive abachelor’s degree. After graduation, some students tend to work in music therapy in schools, hospitals, psychiatric facilities, and nursing homes.
Kayla Honeycutt, a junior, chose Drury to study music therapy out of two other schools located in St. Louis and Kansas City. She says she came to Drury because of its small campus size, and within one week of starting school, she found it to be the right choice for her.
“Each class has been relevant to the field of study and each seems to build on those attended in the previous semester. The professors go out of their way to be available to students and offer help when needed: days, nights, and weekends,” Honeycutt said. “I honestly do not believe I would get this kind of hands-on attention and such an individualized sense of study at any other school in the area.”
Honeycutt agrees that more people are aware of music therapy as a profession, but she also thinks more students are studying it because of Drury’s faculty.
“I would also have to say a very large portion of the success of music therapy at Drury lies in the faculty. Dr. Wlodarczyk has only been teaching at the campus for a few years and it is no secret that every year the music therapy numbers double. She does a fantastic job of advocating, teaching, and getting all of the students involved,” she said.
Sophomore Cecilia Deken, another music therapy major, suggests that more students are interested in the field because it opens up opportunities in different places.
“There are so many fields that music therapy can be applied to, and it seems like more and more people are choosing to use their talents to benefit others,” Deken said. “Music therapy is very rewarding in that sense.”
Wlodarczyk says the department hopes to streamline the curriculum in the future, lower the number of required credits needed to graduate, and continue raising awareness about Drury’s on-campus music therapy clinic, which is located on E. Calhoun St.
“I think a lot of the things we’re doing are going well—one being the music therapy clinic on campus. We’re going to make sure that that continues to flourish,” she said. “My hope is to try and get even better marketing for that clinic so that community members know that it’s there and even people on campus knowing that it’s there because it’s something that sets Drury apart.”
Story by Kaitlyn Schwers, a senior multimedia production and journalism major at Drury University
April 9, 2012
SPRINGFIELD, Mo., April 9, 2012 — College students and the elderly will come together for a night of rock music at Drury’s Clara Thompson Hall on Monday, April 16 at 7:30 p.m. The concert is free and open to the public.
The second annual Intergenerational Rock Band brings together Drury music therapy students along with residents of The Gardens retirement facility performing songs from The Rolling Stones to Pink, “The values inherent in music can transcend age, and we always pick songs that are about the importance of living for the moment with a positive message everyone can relate to,” said Dr. Natalie Wlodarczyk (Wool-dar-zik), assistant professor of music therapy.
Some residents suffer from dementia and do not recall ever having attended practice, but their knowledge is evident when they sing along with every song. Dr. Wlodarczyk says residents can remember the music but not having attended practice because music is stored in a different part of the brain. She adds that the music also helps the residents with cognitive abilities.
The seniors and thestudents both enjoy their time together. Drury student Tyler Stokes, a guitar player for the band, said, “Anyone can be hip or rock. It is a state of mind not an age or stereotype.”
Media Contact: Dr. Natalie Wlodarczyk, Assistant Professor of Music Therapy, Office: (417) 873-7573, E-mail: email@example.com
April 2, 2012
Springfield, Mo., April 2, 2012 – There are some things that all generations have in common and music is one of them. It is not just about the genre of music, but the messages conveyed in music to which all audiences can relate. This is how the Intergenerational Rock Band began, Drury students seeking to share music with the residents of The Gardens retirement facility.
This is the second year for this event and Natalie Wlodarczyk, assistant professor of music therapy, is determined to keep it going. There is a wide range of music from The Rolling Stones’ “Satisfaction” to Pink’s “Perfect.” However, none of the music is from the senior’s generation. “Everyone would expect the seniors to sing songs from the forties and fifties. That’s why we chose more contemporary music,” Dr. Wlodarczyk says of the music choices. “Music has a lot of values, and we always pick songs that are about the importance of living for the moment with a positive message everyone can relate to.”
More than half of the residents in the band have dementia and do not remember going to practice from week to week. After talking to a resident about what she thought about The Intergenerational Rock Band, she said she did not know and that this was her first time, despite having attended several practices. However, when the music started she sang right along, displaying her weeks of practice. Some of the residents remember the music, but don’t recall attending practice because music is stored in a different part of the brain. The music also helps the residents with cognitive development.
The seniors and the students both enjoy their time together. Drury student Tyler Stokes, a guitar player for the band, says, “Anyone can be hip or rock. It is a state of mind not an age or stereotype.”
The Intergenerational Rock Band concert is on Monday, April 16 at 7:30 p.m. in Clara Thompson Hall at Drury. The event is free and open to the public.
This story was written by Katie Felkel, a sophomore Advertising and Public Relations major at Drury.
Photo caption: The Intergenerational Rock Band performs at Clara Thompson Hall in 2011
April 11, 2011
SPRINGFIELD, Mo., April. 8, 2011 —Drury music students in collaboration with residents from The Gardens Assisted Living will perform an intergenerational rock concert on April 12, at 7 p.m. in Clara Thompson Hall at Drury University. This concert is free and open to the public.
Rehearsals for the performance began in February when 13 Drury students met with 20 residents from the The Gardens. The group began practicing a variety of songs, including some pieces from The Beatles, The Who, Queen, Michael Jackson, The Black Eyed Peas and many other well-known artists. The final product will culminate in a performance with 5 Drury students serving as a live band.
“The goal of this project was not to put on a flawless concert, but to bring two generations together to learn new music, breakdown stereotypes, and most of all to have fun. Our hope is that we can improve cross-age attitudes and increase quality of life for these residents in an innovative way,” said Dr. Natalie Wlodarczyk (Wool-dar-zik), visiting assistant professor of music therapy.
Upon realizing the success of this program, plans are underway to make the concert an annual event that continues to attract more participants each year.
December 14, 2010
NEWS: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Dec. 9, 2010 —
The $122,640 grant funds a music therapy clinic in Monett, Mo. that is a satellite of Drury’s Center for Music Therapy and Wellness. The Monett clinic is open five days a week with direct services provided by Jessica Edwards, MT-BC (Music Therapist-Board Certified). The grant also provides primary funding for a clinical supervisory position occupied by Julie Cassity, MS, MT-BC, whose office is in Drury’s on-campus music therapy clinic. As an added benefit, the Monett clinic serves as a local internship site for Drury music therapy students who cannot attend a more distant internship.
The Monett clinic was established in 2004 with a $38,736 grant. Since that time, funding has increased because of the growing numbers of residents requesting music therapy services, according to Cassity. Since the grant was first awarded in November of 2003, Cassity and Drury University have received over $800,000 in funding.
Clinical documentation and parental evaluations indicate that residents increase in skills such as language, socialization, following directions and attention span following the initiation of music therapy services. Parents and guardians also report that the residents seem happier, vocalize more, and enjoy the music skills they are learning. According to the American Music Therapy Association, music therapy is an established health care 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 clinic, the Monett clinic maintains a community outreach by providing on-site services at facilities in Cassville and Monett. Additional support therapists at the Center’s Drury campus clinic are Leslie Richardson, MT-BC (Drury, 2008) and Carrie Jenkins, MT-BC (Drury, 2009).
Drury’s Bachelor of Music Therapy program, which was established in 2002, is a rapidly growing program that has recently expanded to include the Master of Music Therapy degree.
Dr. Michael Cassity
Professor of Music Therapy
Office: (417) 873-7370
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