January 20th 6:00 – 8:00 pm
* The Full Time Will Be Spent on this Topic
Presenters: Melissa Spiess, M.M., MT-BC, NMT Fellow & Brianna Larsen, M.A., MT-BC, NMT Fellow;
Description: Accessibility of our profession is one aspect of diversity, equity, and inclusion that has long been overlooked. It is difficult to increase accessibility without understanding the prevalence of injuries and disabilities that our peers are facing and the impact that our individual actions have on them. The presenters received responses from 53 music therapists who have experienced injuries or disabilities, and shared their perspective and thoughts on how to improve accessibility. We will review these responses together, process key takeaways, and identify ways we can advocate for increased accessibility of our profession. This evening will be a combination of sharing survey results; and public forum to discuss actions we can take to be better advocates for our colleagues.
Melissa Spiess, a board-certified music therapist, founded Living Spirit Therapy Services, LLC in 2008. Melissa completed her music therapy equivalency degree in 2003 and Master of Music from Western Michigan University in 2006. She is a Fellow in the Academy of Neurologic Music Therapists. Her areas of expertise include neurorehabilitation for stroke, TBI, and spinal cord injury; Parkinson’s Disease; older adults; hospice; and wellness. She has presented locally and nationally on music therapy. In her spare time, Melissa loves exploring natural places with her family.
Brianna Larsen received her music therapy degree from the University of North Dakota and completed her Master’s Degree from Saint-Mary-of-the-Woods College. She has presented on the importance of physical and vocal self-care for music therapists. She has advanced training in the Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and as a Neurologic Music Therapy Fellow. Brianna has provided services to a wide variety of populations including neonatal intensive care, hospice, pediatric and adult intensive care units, palliative medicine, rehabilitation, Parkinson’s exercise groups, and older adult groups. Brianna experiences great joy in learning the unique stories from each person she meets. She enjoys playing French horn in a community orchestra and playing soccer in her free time.
100% of the donations raised through this presentation will be contributed to the Living Spirit Therapy Services Pay It Forward Campaign to support free or reduced cost music therapy sessions for low income, rural, and minoritized older adults in Minnesota living in private homes.
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