Neurodevelopment Throughout the Lifetime: Music Therapy Applications

Isabelle Spence, MT-BC
Image of Music Therapist Isabelle Spence

This presentation examines the neurologically-informed music therapy philosophy and defines neurological principles including myelination and neuroplasticity. The major developmental stages are examined from a neurological standpoint in several domains including cognitive, social, emotional, sensory, and more. Music therapy applications will be discussed based on the neurodevelopmental timeline and important considerations for implementation. Discussion prompts will enhance the transfer of information from theory to professional practice. Additionally, international music therapists will benefit from this presentation because basic neurodevelopmental principles and milestones are consistent across cultures and ethnicities.

Learner Objectives

Learning Objective #1: Describe what a neurologically informed approach means in a music therapy context. (III.A.3.f.)
Learning Objective #2: Describe what neuroplasticity and myelination mean and apply it to development. (III.A.3.f.)
Learning Objective #3: Describe an appropriate music therapy application of neurodevelopment principles at each developmental stage. (III.A.4.i.)

Presenter Biography

Isabelle Spence, MT-BC graduated in May 2021 from the University of Alabama and completed her internship at Heart and Harmony in Texas. She works for a private practice in the home-health setting.