As a music therapist and performing musician, lessons are individually structured to accommodate the students cognitive, social and/or communication skills. These lessons, like any music lessons, provide the needed education to learn an perform, but allow skillful techniques to improve the experience and enhance the overall learning process.
Music Therapy is the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music therapy program.
Music Therapy is an established health profession in which music is used within a therapeutic relationship to address physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs of individuals. After assessing the strengths and needs of each client, the qualified music therapist provides the indicated treatment including creating, singing, moving to, and/or listening to music. Through musical involvement in the therapeutic context, clients’ abilities are strengthened and transferred to other areas of their lives. Music therapy also provides avenues for communication that can be helpful to those who find it difficult to express themselves in words. Research in music therapy supports its effectiveness in many areas such as: overall physical rehabilitation and facilitating movement, increasing people’s motivation to become engaged in their treatment, providing emotional support for clients and their families, and providing an outlet for expression of feelings.
Jim Pierce, MM, MT-BC is Assistant Professor of Music Therapy at William Carey University. Mr. Pierce received a Bachelor of Arts in Music and Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from West Virginia University and received his Master of Music in Therapy from Florida State University and has been a board-certified music therapist for twelve years. His music therapy career has included working with nursing homes, assisted living facilities, acute/ long-term adult mental health facilities, facilities for individuals diagnosed with developmental disabilities, acute/long-term forensic mental health facilities and substance abuse facilities. Mr. Pierce is a dynamic presenter and facilitator in great demand educating and entertaining at workshops and clinics such as: Belhaven University, Mental Health Alliance Conferences, Millsaps College, Mississippi Association of Addicted Professionals (MAPP), Juvenile Justice Symposiums and University of Mississippi Medical Center. He has also appeared numerous times on local news programs such as WDAM Midday featuring the benefits of music therapy. For five continuous years, he has been awarded finances by the Greater Pinebelt Community Foundation to fund his grant work titled Harnessing Adults Full Potential Through Performance Based Music and Community Integration Opportunities. The grant has been a great community merger of Pine Belt Mental Healthcare, William Carey University and surrounding local area churches and local venues which benefit adults diagnosed with intellectual disabilities. The grant project has been a highlight many times in local news stations, revealing the many performances and smiles. His music therapy techniques and extensive experiences provide him the necessary skills to harness the full potential from individuals. He is a member of Phi Kappa Lambda, American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) and Psi Chi.