Fairfield Medical Center provides individual and group music therapy services for patients and family members through Central Ohio Music Therapy, LLC. Music therapy is an established healthcare profession that uses evidence-based music interventions to accomplish individualized goals through a therapeutic relationship with a board-certified music therapist (MT-BC). See below for frequently asked questions & answers.
How does music therapy help patients and their families?
Music therapy may help by addressing the following needs/issues through music intervention: pain control, shortness of breath, isolation, anxiety/agitation, reduced mental capabilities, spiritual needs, impaired communication, reduced quality of life, depression, flat/dull affect, loss of independence, self-expression, infective coping, caregiver role-strain & positive shared experiences.
How does a patient begin receiving music therapy?
The music therapist typically receives a referral from the nurse, social worker or chaplain.Family members and other staff may refer as well.Upon receiving the referral, the music therapist schedules a visit with the patient and assess their music preferences and reponse to music therapy.If the patient demonstrates needs music therapy may address AND a positive response to music interventions, music therapy services will be recommended.
What happens during a typical music therapy session?
The music therapist may use one or more instruments (i.e.: piano, guitar, q-chord/autoharp, rhythm instruments and voice) to provide live music and engage the patient and/or family members in music making with the therapist as they are able. Music utilized/provided is selected from patient preferred music and requests. Patients and/or family members may be led in participation through singing, instrument playing, music listening, music discussion and song writing.
How often does the music therapist visit & how long are the sessions?
Sessions typically are 30 minutes in length, but range from 20-60 minutes. Session frequency and length vary based upon need and availability of therapist.
How do I request music therapy or get in contact with the music therapist?
Meet our music therapists...
Erin Spring, MM, MT-BC
Erin Spring holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Music Therapy from Ohio University. Erin interned as a music therapist at the Cleveland Music School Settlement and in the Cleveland Clinic Palliative Care Unit.Currently, Erin is the owner of Central Ohio Music Therapy in Circleville, Ohio, which provides music therapy services throughout 10 counties in central and southeast Ohio.
Erin is a neurological and board-certified music therapist serving a variety of populations including the terminally ill, individuals with autism and developmental disabilities, geriatric adults, patients receiving obstetric and general hospital care and children experiencing grief. Her thesis research focused on collaboration, exploring the collaborative terminology and the teaching models used to train upcoming professionals in collaborative work. In the fall of 2012, Erin began teaching and supervising as an adjunct professor of music therapy for Ohio University in Athens, Ohio.
Along with presenting music therapy talks to community groups, high schools and colleges throughout Ohio, Ms. Spring is also a regular presenter at the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) national and regional conferences.
In addition to her music therapy practice, Erin is also an accomplished vocalist. She has performed around her community as a soloist and with various ensembles.Erin is also the director of the Circleville Presbyterian Handbell Choir and the Roundtown Ringers Community Handbell and Chime Choir.When she’s not leading music therapy sessions, you will often find her volunteering with her therapy dog Oscar, providing pet therapy services to patients, students, and anyone else who’s quality of life is improved when there’s a dog around. Erin is also a member of the Ohio Music Education Association, and is an active marching band adjudicator.
Jessica Schlabach, MT-BC
Music Therapist, Jessica Schlabach, has been a Board-Certified Music Therapist since July of 2012. She is a member of the American Music Therapy Association and the Association of Ohio Music Therapists. Miss Schlabach is a native of Athens, Ohio. She attended Athens High School and was an active member of the Athens High School Marching Green and Gold for five years, serving as field commander for two years.
Jessica earned her Bachelor of Music degree in music therapy, with a minor in psychology, from Baldwin-Wallace College. After finishing her coursework, Jessica completed her music therapy internship at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic as well as the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Populations included children, adolescents, adults and geriatrics with psychiatric diagnoses, dual diagnoses and children in a pediatric hospital setting. Jessica has had music therapy experience working with all ages and a variety of populations.
Prior to joining Central Ohio Music Therapy, Jessica worked as a teacher for school-aged children and as an infant caretaker at Sycamore Run Early Childhood Center. Jessica is currently working on completing her Master’s Degree in Music Therapy, with a specialization in Child and Family Studies at Ohio University.
Is there research to support music therapy services in medical settings?
Research has shown music therapy to be a significantly effective tool to address patient needs due to its effects on the human brain.Music, especially when administered by a board-certified music therapist, has the capability to improve:
- Heart rate and blood pressure
- Respiratory rate and oxygen exchange
- Neurochemical production: endorphins, seratonin, melatonin, dopamine, oxytocin
- Neurohormone responses: ACTH, cortisol
- Immune system responses: salivary immuniglobin A, natural killer cells, nitric oxide
- Brainwave states and neurological functions
- Cognitive functioning: attention, memory, integration, imagery
Music therapy research in medical settings has demonstrated many positive outcomes for patients, including:
- Decreased pain perception/increased comfort
- Decreased stress and anxiety
- Increased relaxation/decreased muscle tension
- Elevated mood/decreased depression
- Enhanced physical, occupational and speech therapy outcomes
- Enhanced spirituality
- Increased communication & socialization
- Increased alertness, cognitive engagement & memory recall
- Increased family/caregiver support
- Decreased medication and length of stay
Additional Resource Links:
American Music Therapy Association www.musictherapy.org
The Certification Board for Music Therapists www.cbmt.org
Central Ohio Music Therapy, LLC www.centralohiomusictherapy.com