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Music Therapy
Jennifer Drees, Music Therapist
Jennifer Drees

Jen is a Board-Certified Music Therapist who began in the field after graduating from Temple University in 1995. While at the university, she studied under pioneers Dr. Kenneth Bruscia and Dr. Cheryl Dileo. Jen earned a Master of Music Therapy from Temple in December 2016. She joined the faculty of Main Street Music in May of 2018, gradually building the presence of music therapy in the community. Her areas of focus include children and adolescents with autism, communication delay, and learning disabilities. Her life experience as a mother of 4 and grandmother of 2 brings a warmth and empathy to the clinical relationship. With 15 years of first responder (EMS services) experience informing

her compassion for each client’s own story and circumstances, she is truly walking beside them on their journeys. Multiple trips to Uganda for missionary work drive a deep respect for the diversity each culture brings to our world.

Jen is a member of the American Music Therapy Association and NJ Association for Music Therapy, regularly supervising music therapy fieldwork students from area universities. Jen’s theoretical orientation with clients might be described as client-centered and humanistic. Jen has taught piano lessons for beginning and intermediate students, as well as adapted lessons for learners with special/customized needs, for many years. The pandemic and having more time at home introduced her to the ukulele, where she pursued a specialized training for music therapists interested in improving their skills on the instrument. Jen is a level 3 certified instructor in the James Hill Ukulele Initiative (JHUI) Ukulele in the Classroom program. In 2022 Jen won a grant from NJAMT to conduct a music therapy ukulele group for children affected by the tornado that displaced many Gloucester County families in September of 2021. She plans to continue ukulele group experiences for all ages in the future.


Jen regularly gigs on keys and ukulele with friends in small groups. She plays piano and directs a youth choir and teen worship band at Church of the Incarnation in Mantua, NJ. Jen is thrilled to be working in collaboration with Main Street Music, to support clients to work on their personal growth and discover their potential. Jen ensures the music therapy relationship is confidential, personalized, goal-directed, responsive to client’s growth, and in line with evidence-based research.

What is Music Therapy

Music therapy is an established health profession in which music and music experiences are used within a therapeutic relationship to address physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs of individuals.  The field of music therapy is clinical and evidenced-based, which means interventions evolve from and inform research and theory.  After a period of assessing a client’s strengths and areas of need, music therapists engage with clients through a variety of music therapy interventions, which may include improvising, writing, singing, moving to, or listening to and discussing music.  It is hoped that these experiences allow clients to grow musically and personally, encouraging growth in other areas of life.

Who Can Benefit

Since music therapy is client centered and goal directed, and follows a comprehensive process of assessment, treatment and evaluation, many persons may benefit from the client therapist relationship which is built on trust and empathy.  Music therapy has been shown to positively benefit the lives of many, including those with ADD/ADHD, autism,learning issues, language delay, emotional disorders such as anger and adjustment disorders, stress and anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, addictions, and medical conditions such as stroke, cancer, and hospice care.

What Are the Goals and What Can You Expect

There are many examples of goals which are unique to client’s strengths and needs.  Some possible goal areas are:

- Improve social skills and self-expression
- Increase attention to task
- Promote positive self-concept
- Increase verbal and musical communication
- Improve attention to task
- Decrease anxiety and develop coping skills for stress and anxiety
- Improve communication of needs and desires
- Promote individuality and decision-making skills
- Processing of past trauma experiences in a safe container

Music therapy sessions are individualized, which means many interventions are used in order to meet mutually determined goals.  Singing, playing instruments, moving to music, focused listening, music facilitated relaxation, composing music, and/or music and art media activities may be used in sessions.

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