Monthly Archives: October 2011

Lifeworks Music Therapy

submitted by Jenna Horgan, MT-BC, neurologic music therapist


Music is a rich part of our lives and is important in cultures throughout the world. It has the ability to elevate our mood, decrease anxiety, and provide a sense of comfort. We might listen to music, sing, or play an instrument in order to raise our energy level, relax, or express ourselves.  In the words of individuals from music therapy sessions at Lifeworks Burnsville, “Music makes us want to dance and sing!”

Lifeworks Music Therapist, Jennie Delisi with Bobbie Jean Ashton in a music therapy session

Music therapy helps individuals develop cognitive, physical, social,and communication skills that encourage independence and build confidence.

Music therapists work in a variety of clinical settings including day programs, nursing homes, hospice, schools, correctional facilities, and rehabilitation centers. Components of music therapy include singing, music listening, moving, playing instruments, songwriting, and discussion.  According to the American Music Therapy Association,

“Music is processed in both hemispheres of the brain, (therefore) music can stimulate cognitive functioning and can be used for remediation of some speech and language skills” (

Lifeworks employs two board- certified neurologic music therapists, Jenna Horgan and Jennie Delisi. They provide group and individual music therapy at 6 Lifeworks locations.  A Lifeworks Career Development or Social Enrichment music therapy group often has the primary goals of improving social and communication skills. Each person in the group is working on specific and measurable objectives to reach their goals. Session plans are designed to address these goal areas, and data is kept on each person’s progress.

Lifeworks incorporates assistive technology into its music therapy program, making music more accessible for participants. Lifeworks music therapists use an IPod Touch, communication devices such as Dynavox, switches, and recording technology for music making and songwriting. One of our musical groups, the AT Real-Time Band, uses these technologies to perform songs like “Tequila” and “Hot, Hot Hot”!

Watch a video of a music therapy session:

If you would like more information about individual music therapy services at Lifeworks, please call Jennie Delisi at 651-365-3740 or email her at


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