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Music Therapy In Baltimore Fosters Creative, Healing Expressionism In Patients

Amanda Rosado is a music therapist with the Sheppard Pratt Health System in Towson. As an empathetic, compassionate and open-minded listener with a long history and interest in playing instruments and singing, Rosado uses the soothing, creative expressiveness of music to help adolescent females at Sheppard Pratt discover the healing and therapeutic effects music can have on the mind, body and soul.

(Photo Courtesy of Amanda Rosado)

Rosado is board certified in music therapy and has been working in this field for five years. She received her bachelor's degree in music therapy from Shenandoah Conservatory and completed an internship at Clifton T. Perkins Hospital. She also received additional training on how to utilize music therapy techniques within the realm of drumming, 12-step recovery programming and dialectical behavioral therapy. Before becoming a music therapist, Rosado also volunteered, both for music and non-music related functions with nursing homes, group homes and extracurricular activities for individuals with developmental disabilities.

What are the responsibilities of a music therapist? 

"In my role, I facilitate music therapy group to help patients work toward their treatment goals. The adolescent unit is a short-term unit focused on crisis stabilization, and so I try to focus my efforts on what I can do to teach patients that upon discharge, music can be an effective strategy for coping. In my groups, patients have the opportunity to work on song writing, lyric analysis, active music listening for mindfulness and emotional awareness, drumming and singing, among other music activities."

What is your favorite part about your daily duties?

"My favorite part about this job is how quickly and easily patients can respond to musical stimuli, verbally and non-verbally. Within days, I have seen even the most resistant patients respond to music in some way. It could be something as small as tapping their toes while listening to music, which in my opinion could be where it all begins. I have found music and music therapy interventions to be one of the fastest ways to break down emotional walls, and it's amazing to see music take hold of the patients on the unit."

How has your education and training prepared you?

"Music therapy training is based on evidence-based practices from accredited institutions. As a result, we have training protocols that have been created to demonstrate the most effective ways to utilize music interventions. As part of my education, I also continually stay on top of new research findings conducted by music therapists and others supporting growth and evolution in the field."

What do you do to continue your education and training? 

"Music therapists are required to complete 100 continuing education credits every five years in order to maintain their certification. There is also the opportunity to pursue a master's degree or doctorate in music therapy. This is an exciting time for the field because soon a master's degree in music therapy will be required before you are able to obtain your music therapy board certification."

Laura Catherine Hermoza has a lifelong love for writing. In addition to serving as a contributor to various media publications, she is also a published novelist of several books and works as a proofreader/editor. LC resides in Baltimore County.

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