Neurodevelopment Throughout the Lifetime

Join us for an immersive journey into the intricate connections between neuroscience and music therapy practice.

In this self-paced, asynchronous online course, you’ll:

🧠 Explore Fundamental Neuroscience Concepts: Gain a solid foundation in neuroscience principles essential for enriching your music therapy practice.

📈 Understand Developmental Trajectories: Delve into the typical developmental journey and uncover how it shapes our understanding of music therapy interventions.

🔬 Learn Practical Applications: Uncover actionable strategies for incorporating neuroscience findings into your music therapy sessions, enhancing effectiveness and client outcomes.

Whether you’re a seasoned music therapy clinician or just starting your journey, this course offers invaluable insights and practical tools to elevate your practice to new heights.  🚀

Course Details


Isabelle Spence, MT-BC

Pre-Approved Credits:




Course Content


This presentation will explore some basic fundamentals of neuroscience and how it can inform our work as music therapy clinicians. The typical developmental trajectory will be discussed, as well as current theories in psychology, neuroscience, and sociology and how they can be integrated functionally into music therapy. Participants will learn about brain development across multiple domains at each developmental stage and applications for practice will be discussed. Paired with video lectures, attendees will be given time to create their own music therapy experiences to practice concepts discussed within their own practice.

Course Outline

Unit I: Introduction & Self Assessment ~ 15 minutes 

  • Individual goal-setting for learning and application ~ 5 minutes 

Unit II: Introduction to Neurological Principles ~ 15 minutes

  • Learning Check ~ 5 minutes

Unit III: In-Utero Development ~ 20 minutes

  • Impact of Stress ~ 5 minutes
  • NICU Applications ~ 5 minutes
  • Considerations ~ 5 minutes

Unit IV: Early Childhood ~ 40 minutes

  • Neurological Principles ~ 10 minutes
  • Application and Transfer (Individual work) ~ 20 minutes

Unit V: Middle Childhood ~ 20 minutes

  • Discussion Questions ~ 10 minutes
  • Application and Transfer (Individual work) ~ 20 minutes

Unit VI: Adolescence ~ 15 minutes

  • Discussion Question ~ 5 minutes
  • Application and Transfer (Individual work) ~ 20 minutes

Unit VII: Adulthood ~ 10 minutes

  • Discussion Question ~ 5 minutes

Unit VIII: Rehabilitation ~ 5 minutes

Unit IX: Neurodegeneration ~ 10 minutes

  • Discussion Question ~ 5 minutes

Unit X: Limitations & References ~ 5 minutes

  • Self-reflection ~ 5 minutes

Total Time = 285 minutes = 5 Credits

Learning Objectives

Objective 1: Participants will identify the neurologically informed approach and list at least two (2) applications to their music therapy practice.

Corresponding Domain Item(s): Design experiences to generalize goals and objectives across settings, people, subjects, behaviors, or time (CBMT 2020, II.D.10).

Objective 2: Participants will define neuroplasticity and myelination and list at least four (4) applications to development across multiple domains, including motor, cognitive, social, and emotional development.

Corresponding Domain Item(s): Utilize the following music therapy approaches to inform clinical practice: neurological (CBMT 2020, III A 4 i).

Objective 3: Participants will compose an appropriate music therapy experience using knowledge learned about neurodevelopment for each of the five (5) discussed developmental stages.

Corresponding Domain Item(s): Provide individualized music therapy experiences to address client’s: activities of daily living, affect emotions and moods, attention, enunciation and vocal production, executive functions, generalization of skills, language skills, memory, motor skills, neurological and cognitive function, sensorimotor skills, sensory processing, social skills and interactions, and verbal and nonverbal communication (CBMT 2020, III A 2 d, g, l, t, u, w, cc, dd, ee, gg, ww, zz, aaa, fff).

Meet Your Instructor

Isabelle Spence, MT-BC, graduated from the University of Alabama with a bachelor’s degree in music therapy and a minor in psychology in December 2021. Isabelle is passionate about performing on her primary instrument, the flute, and she has performed as an ensemble member and as a soloist across the United States. Isabelle completed her internship with Heart and Harmony in the fall of 2021. Isabelle’s clinical experience includes premature infants in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), adults with traumatic brain injuries (TBI), child, adolescent and adult outpatient mental healthcare, adults with cerebral palsy (CP), children and adults with intellectual and developmental disorders (IDD), older adults with dementia, and school-aged children in inclusive and self-contained classrooms. She also teaches adaptive voice and guitar lessons. While not in sessions, Isabelle serves as the Event Coordinator for the team, planning social and community events for our clients. She has presented on neurodevelopment and music therapy in schools and conferences across the state of Texas and internationally.

What’s Included

2 Hours of Video Instruction

10 Guided Learning Handouts

5 Pre-Approved CMTE Credits

Course Format

This is an asynchronous, self-paced course hosted through Google Classroom. The 10 course units are comprised of video lectures, guided learning handouts, and step-by-step instructions for learning checks to be submitted to Google Classroom. Participant learning will be assessed by pre-test and post-test evaluations. A certificate of completion for 5 pre-approved CMTE credits will be providing upon finishing this course.

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