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Drury professor receives grant for music therapy in Barry and Lawrence counties

For Immediate Release: February 5

Contact:
Dr. Michael Cassity
Professor of Music Therapy
Office: (417) 873-7370
E-mail: mcassity@drury.edu

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Feb. 5, 2010 — For the sixth consecutive year, Dr. Michael Cassity, Drury University professor and director of music therapy, has received a grant from the Lawrence and Barry County Tax Boards for the Developmentally Disabled to provide music therapy to disabled residents in those areas.

The $122,640 grant funds a music therapy clinic in Monett, Mo. that is a satellite of Drury’s Center for Music Therapy and Wellness.

The Monett clinic was first established in 2004 with a $38,736 grant. Since that time, according to Cassity, funding has increased due to the growing numbers of residents requesting music therapy services.

Clinical documentation and parental evaluations indicate that residents increase in skills such as language, socialization, following directions and attention span following the initiation of music therapy services. Parents and guardians also report the residents seem happier, vocalize more, and enjoy the music skills they are learning. According to the American Music Therapy Association, music therapy is an established health care profession in which music is used within a therapeutic relationship to address physical, emotional, cognitive and social needs of individuals.

The Monett clinic is open five days a week with direct services provided by Jessica Edwards, MT-BC (Music Therapist-Board Certified). In addition to serving clients at the clinic, the Monett clinic maintains a community outreach by providing on-site services at facilities in Cassville and Monett. Additional support therapists at the Drury campus clinic include Julie Cassity, MS, MT-BC, clinical supervisor, and Leslie Richardson, MT-BC (Drury graduate 2008).

Drury's Bachelor of Music Therapy program, which was established in 2002, is a rapidly growing program that has plans to expand to a master’s degree program.

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