In Schools Block

Commonly Asked Questions

Is music therapy a related service?

As indicated in a clarification statement provided by the U.S. Department of Education (OSERS, 2000) and updated statement in June 2010 music therapy can be considered as an IEP-related service for a particular student if assessment results determine that this type of support is required for the student to benefit from his or her educational program. For additional documentation click here.

What is the process to add music therapy to an IEP?

  1. Music therapy assessment is requested.
  2. IEP team reviews appropriateness of request and reviews criteria and indicators forms.
  3. If determined appropriate, school district develops assessment plan.
  4. Music therapist is contacted and provided with the student’s IEP.
  5. Music therapist conducts assessment at school site in addition to interview, records review, and checklists.
  6. IEP meeting is held and the music therapist presents the findings.
  7. If student is NOT found eligible for music therapy, music therapist may provide suggestions for continued use of music by staff and parents.
  8. If student IS found eligible, music therapy is added to the front page of the IEP and to relevant goals from the existing IEP.  Service is reviewed after a trial period or at least annually to determine if music therapy continues to provide a necessary support.

What criteria is utilized during the assessment to determine eligibility for music therapy?

The four criteria utilized by Coast Music Therapy within the IEP-based assessment process include:

  1. Based on research, can the student’s IEP goal areas be functionally supported through music therapy interventions?
  2. Is additional support required to address relevant IEP goals based on factors such as slow or insufficient progress, interfering behaviors, or a limited number of instructional approaches the student has been responsive to?
  3. Is music a documented learning strength for the student through which educational performance is enhanced?
  4. Given the music opportunities currently available in the student’s program, are more specialized music approaches necessary to access the student’s learning strength in music?

Click here for a music therapy assessment flow chart.

What types of students are most likely to qualify for music therapy through the IEP?

  • Students who are not making adequate progress in multiple IEP goal areas
  • Students who have relatively few motivators but show enhanced motivation for music
  • Students who show a significant enhancement when learning or memorizing information through song/chant format
  • Students who require multi-sensory modalities such as music due to vision impairment, multiple disabilities, or limited response capacity.
  • Students who demonstrate significantly increased motor attempts, imitation skills, or ability to follow instructions when presented via music or rhythm.
  • Students who show significantly enhanced speech attempts or phrase length when music is utilized.

For a more comprehensive list of indicators click here.