Thank you for your coverage of the effect of drumming on a local boy with autism ("Drums a hit with autistic boy," Jan. 2).
Music is, indeed, a powerful agent for healing and wellness and, as a board-certified music therapist, I see this every day in my practice. Through music therapy, I have seen children on the spectrum (as well as other developmental disabilities) learn social skills, improve their communication, improve auditory processing, develop small and gross motor coordination and so much more.
I also work with a number of older adults and have been witness to many musical miracles: the woman who is "frozen" due to a stroke but can sing and shake a maraca; a woman with Alzheimer's Disease who can remember details of her past when I sing songs that were meaningful in her growing-up years; a hospice client who can express his gratitude to his wife and caregivers through song.
Music therapy is a health care profession that uses music and music-related activities to create positive change in clients with a wide range of illness, disability and life stage.
Music therapists must have a bachelor's degree in Music Therapy (Marylhurst University and Seattle Pacific University have programs), complete a 1,200 hour internship and pass a board-certification exam.