Music therapy is an evidence-based practice that utilizes music intervention to reach a desired goal and utilizes a holistic approach addressing emotional, physical, spiritual, cognitive, and social needs.
Music therapy is provided by credentialed Music Therapists who have completed a bachelor level education from an accredited program, followed by a 1040-hour internship, and have passed a certification exam. To maintain certification, music therapists are required to complete 100 continuing education credits every five years through the national Certification Board for Music Therapists (CBMT).
Melissa Howard, MT-BC, SBD
Music Therapy Services
Birth and Bereavement Doula
I have been a practicing Board-Certified Music Therapist since 2007, am a member of the American Music Therapy Association, and have been the Continuing Education Chair for the Illinois Association for Music Therapy since 2009.
After I completed my undergraduate coursework at Western Illinois University, I was selected for the Music Therapy internship at University of Illinois at Chicago Medical Center. UIC Medical Center provided me with experience as a medical music therapist in various areas of the hospital including: maternity, rehabilitation, pediatrics, pediatric intensive care, and neonatal intensive care. However, my main concentration at that time was in inpatient behavioral health. Upon completing my internship, I had the privilege of providing hospice music therapy services for many pediatric and adult clients and their families. I collaborated with bereavement staff to create and facilitate monthly music therapy groups, facilitated youth bereavement summer camps, and provided music for both public and private memorial services.
In 2012, I began my private practice which has allowed me to do both group and individual work with nursing facilities, as well as inpatient behavioral health for geriatric, adult, and adolescent populations. Since 2013, I have completed several courses in perinatal music therapy, and am a certified Stillbirthday Doula. I consistently explore and enroll in continuing education courses and have found that music therapy is uniquely suited in the utilization and practice of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) skills. I am currently working on my Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Governors State University.
Individual Music Therapy
Music therapy services can be provided for individuals of all ages, and in many areas, including; perinatal support, perinatal bereavement, hospice and bereavement support, Dialectical Behavior Therapy skills, and dementia care.
Music can enhance our overall sense of well-being and promote relaxation. Music alone or in conjunction with other arts such as painting, journaling, imagery, and movement can enhance self-care practice.
This 45-minute experiential is focused on practicing relaxation techniques enhanced with music and sound. This course will discuss breath work, and imagery techniques that can be used in your own self-care practice. There will be a brief guided relaxation, followed by a meditative sound bath experience. This course is held at a studio in Homer Glen. Please contact me for details.
Nurturing Sprouts – Baby’s First Music Class
Nurturing spouts is baby’s first music class. This class provides developmentally appropriate and nurturing activities to support your little spout’s development. This class is designed for 0-5 years of age. Nurturing Sprouts is held at a studio in Homer Glen. Please contact me for details.
Melodic Beginnings is a prenatal bonding course created to enhance mother and baby connection through music.
This class will focus on creating music to stimulate baby’s senses in a way that is gentle and positive.
We will discuss and experience how music can support and comfort mother and baby.
The music created through this course can be used by mother, partner, or siblings, through birth and into the first three months of life outside of the womb, to calm and soothe baby as they are welcomed to the world.
Group Music Therapy
Senior care facilities can benefit from music therapy groups to increase social interaction, increase opportunities for self-expression, maintain physical and cognitive performance, and promote relaxation and a sense of well-being.
Behavioral health facilities can benefit from music therapy groups to enhance group cohesion, identify feelings, provide opportunities for self-expression, and to explore and practice coping skills.
Music Therapy to Support Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) Skills
Music can put us in our ideal mindset, it can motivate and inspire us to put goals into action, and music serves as a reminder of important information. Music therapy intervention and activities can provide support while learning and practicing DBT skills.
Music can enhance DBT skills: Mindfulness, Distress Tolerance, Emotional Regulation, and Interpersonal Effectiveness.
Many aspects of music can support these areas of DBT. Music intervention can include; songwriting, singing, music selection and discussion, improvisation, and passive music listening to promote relaxation, to serve as a mnemonic device, to increase mindfulness, and help us bring awareness to the emotions we are experiencing in the moment.
Services are by appointment only
Types of appointments:
In-person in a personal office space in Homer Glen
A consultation will be provided prior to the first session to identify what goals you may want to achieve and to ensure music therapy services are right for you.
Individual Music Therapy
$120 per 90 Minute session
(80 minute session + 10 minute documentation)
$80 per 60 minute session
(50 minute session + 10 minute documentation)
$60 per 40 minute session
(30 minute session + 10 minute documentation)
Classes are held in a group setting. $20/class
Individual sessions are available by appointment.
* Nurturing Melodies