Hug Music provided my daughter to find her voice through music
— Mother of M., a 7-year old girl with special needs

frequently asked questions

What is Music Therapy? How does my child benefit from Music Therapy?

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 ( Definition from American Music Therapy Association ). In other words, Music therapy is an established healthcare profession that uses music to address physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs of individuals of all ages. Music therapy improves the quality of life for persons who are well and meets the needs of children and adults with disabilities or illnesses. The therapist will assess your child’s strengths and needs to form clinical goals and objectives. The therapist also assesses your child’s innate musical ability, musical preference, and interests to construct music activities that not only address those goals, but also motivate your child.

What does my child do in the session?

Your child will be engaged in music making throughout the session by singing, listening, and playing instruments. Hug Music uses a child-centered and music-centered approach in which all activities are designed to meet each child’s unique needs, preferences, and interests so that she or he will be motivated in participating in music making. Based on careful and ongoing assessment of the child and his or her musical and non-musical responses, activities are modified continuously to maximize the child’s potential.

Do you offer a trial session?

We offer a 5-week evaluation package for new students. This package includes; two 15-minute phone consultation with a therapist (before the 1st session and after the 4th session), a 30-minute initial assessment , and four 30-minute weekly music therapy sessions, as well as a written report of evaluation. These 5 sessions will give enough time for both parents and our music therapists to evaluate the effectiveness of the music program, determine approaches, and individualize instruction.

Often times, children with special needs find it extremely challenging to accept new routines and become familiar with people they do not know. For those children, the first 1-2 sessions may be challenging. However, typically after the 3rd or 4th session, those children start to respond and feel more relaxed. Many children start showing great progress after 3-4 sessions as well. For this reason, we offer a 5-week evaluation package instead of a one-time trial session in order to better serve your child with an intervention that is carefully customized.

Does my child learn how to play instruments in the session?

The primary focus of music therapy is to help children improve skills that are important for their lives such as cognitive, communication, social, speech, and fine-motor skills. However, Hug Music believes that learning music and how to play instruments can also address those areas, and thus, we incorporate music instruction into music therapy. Our original method, Musicreative®, combines music therapy and music instruction. In this program, children will be initially assisted to improve their pre-academic and other skills that are necessary for learning. Once children are well-prepared, the therapist starts providing music instructions that are tailored to each child’s unique learning style, strength, and areas of need.

How does the scheduling work?

Please notify us of your preferred session day and time. However, due to popularity, our session slots get taken very quickly once registration opens. Therefore, you may not get your preferred slot or you may need to be placed on the waitlist. Saturday slots get especially quickly taken immediately after we open registration, despite the fact we reserve most Saturday slots for music therapy. Plan on registering your child as soon as we open registration for the coming semester. Existing students have privilege to register one week before the first day of the registration period. Typically, we open registration in mid-December for the spring semester and in May for the summer and fall semester. We recommend that you subscribe to our newsletter, where you will receive up-to-date registration information. You can subscribe via the form at the bottom of this page.

Do you take insurance for Music Therapy?

Unfortunately, we do not take insurance. However, we provide a list of organizations that typically give funding for music therapy for families of children with special needs. Many families of our students have received up to $500 per year for music therapy. For students whose tuition is over $600, we provide installment plans with a minimal fee.

I have been so surprised and happy to see my son grow and develop so much since he began music therapy session at Hug Music. When B. (son’s name) started music therapy he was reluctant to say anything or even answer questions from teachers and new adults he met. He took weeks to say his own name during the “Hello” song. He gradually came out of his shell, thanks to his therapist’s patience, encouragement, and her ability to try different approaches, songs, instruments and activities with him. Now, about 5-6 months after starting music therapy, B is chatting, happy, social, and affectionate; he answers his teachers’ questions in class and is no longer anxious about separating from his parents when it is time for school or other classes. Teachers and other therapists who knew him before and after he started music therapy have remarked on how different he is.

In sum, I am very appreciative of how Hug Music has helped my son through music therapy. He can also now figure out how to play new tunes on the piano on his own, and has developed a true love fore music.
— Serena, mother of B, 5 years old