Posted: August 3, 2010 in Assessment

Today, I began my first experience using the Individualized Music Therapy Assessment Profile (IMTAP).  The assessment was developed by Holly Tuesday Baxter, Julie Allis Berghofer, Lesa MacEwan, Judy Nelson, Kasi Peters, and Penny Roberts, and was published in 2007 by Jessica Kingsley Publishers.  It’s a comprehensive, step-by-step, and standardized process by which you can focus your assessment.  The book includes a CD-ROM, which contains copies of the forms and even a program where you can input your findings.  Very useful.

The process looks something like this: first, there’s an intake interview, in which you get to meet the family and find out some things about the client (the tool is designed for children and adolescents).  From the intake interview, you will be finding out information in ten different domains of functioning – gross motor, fine motor, oral motor, sensory, receptive communication/auditory perception, expressive communication, cognitive, emotional, social, and musicality.  From these, you should be able to determine which domains you should focus on during the assessment stage.  If there are no reports of gross motor problems, for example, you don’t need to do activities to assess that domain.  Musicality is the only domain where assessment is always recommended.

Once you’ve determined the needed domains, you do your assessment.  Each domain is divided into several sub-domains, and there are numerous tasks that you’re supposed to rate by frequency.  N is never, R is rarely (less than 50% of the time), I is inconsistent (50-79% of the time), and C is consistent (80-100% of the time).  Video taping of your sessions is recommended so you don’t have to waste time scribbling notes.

Once the assessment is done, you find the scores for each area.  The lower the score, the more the client needs work in that area.  After that, you can set up a treatment plan, goals and objectives, and start making music.

When I was first working (straight out of college), I would have killed to have something like this.  I had a list of things I should be looking for in a music therapy assessment, but no real guidance.  This tool is very detailed, and well laid out.  I’m very interested to see how the whole thing pans out.  So far, I’ve only gotten through one intake, with the first assessment session set for next Tuesday.  I hope to keep this blog updated about the process (though I won’t be sharing any client information).  If anyone else has experience with the IMTAP, I’d be glad to hear about it.  Thanks for reading!



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