Written by Tess Vreeland, MT-BC, NICU-MT, AMTAS Secretary
While music therapists’ skills are largely transferrable and board-certified music therapists are equipped to work with most populations, some vulnerable settings, such as the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), require additional training. Music therapy can be impactful for patients and families with premature infants when appropriate interventions are facilitated by an MT-BC with the credentials NICU-MT.
The primary two evidence-based interventions used in the NICU are known as Multimodal Neurologic Enhancement and the Pacifier Activated Lullaby (PAL®️). Multimodal Neurologic Enhancement is a progression incorporating auditory, tactile, and vestibular stimulation aimed to increase tolerance to environmental stimuli for premature infants. This is important to premature infants due to the overstimulating environment of the NICU and the procedures they are experiencing. The Pacifier Activated Lullaby or PAL®️ is a device that uses contingent music as reinforcement to promote the development and strengthening of the non-nutritive suck. This is impactful for infants in the NICU and supports their developmental milestones. These are just two of many interventions a NICU music therapist can facilitate.
In order to work with infants in the NICU, one must take steps to become certified through The National Institute for Infant & Child Medical Music Therapy. This training includes a NICU-MT class, held in person or virtually, a hands-on fieldwork component, and an exam. CMTE credits are also offered for obtaining the certification. More information can be found at https://music.fsu.edu/Music-Research-Centers/NICU-MT/ or @nicu_mt_institute on Instagram!
Hello, AMTAS! My name is Tess Vreeland, and I’m your secretary for the 2023 year. The purpose of this blog is to provide updates on AMTA regions, provide informative tools and information for furthering music therapy student careers, and promote collaboration among music therapy students across America. If you have any questions or any proposals regarding the blog, feel free to email me!
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