Policies & Guidelines

We believe in an all-inclusive client-centered experience.

We value neurodiversity and the unique cognitive processes of all. Utilizing musical experiences, we seek to establish an environment where authentic connections can occur.

We believe in strengths-based and relationship-based therapeutic approaches to address tangible goals in the following domains: speech and language, cognition, gross and fine motor, social, emotional, sensory, musical, and academic.

We believe in upholding the MCMS mission, the values of the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA), and the Professional Code of Practice of the Certification Board for Music Therapists (CBMT). This includes implementing the therapeutic process: assessment, treatment plan, progress notes, and reassessment. This also includes continuing education of the Board Certified Music Therapist (MT-BC).

We believe in fully accessible music experiences for all.

MCMS Music Therapy Program Guidelines

  • Being a creative arts therapy, we focus on the process during music therapy experiences, not the product. To achieve this, we often work collaboratively.
  • All participants will respect and protect the rights of themselves and other participants and staff. Space is provided for all participants to express their feelings while not insulting, belittling, or lashing out against another participant or staff member. In treating all participants and staff with dignity and respect, participants are expected to follow MCMS operational rules and procedures.
  • Behavior Management: In line with our program philosophy, we employ positive reinforcement and effective/affective praise whenever possible. In doing so, we may ignore negative behaviors by instead focusing on what the participant is doing positively. We maintain open communication among a client’s team members and may support an established behavior plan if necessary/appropriate.
  • The MCMS Music Therapy Program has generated an online intake form to provide information from schools, parents/caregivers in order to gain input on participants. At times, we may request or review a students’ IEP. However, Music Therapists reserve the right to review content only after getting to know a participant, in an effort to get to know the individual for who they are, and not for their diagnosis or disabilities.
  • We value the intrinsic motivation of all participants within our program. There are many times where we build and provide space for all individuals to engage in and respond to therapeutic interventions in their own right MCMS Music Therapy Program Guidelines

Missed Session Policy

Music Therapist Cancellation or MCMS closure:

  • In case of illness or other absence, your Music Therapist or the MCMS receptionist will contact you to cancel the session. Please be sure that your Music Therapist and the MCMS office have your preferred contact info.
  • MCMS weather-related closings are listed on WMUR. Your Music Therapist or the MCMS receptionist will also contact you. If you are unsure about closing or delays, please contact your Music Therapist or MCMS at (603) 644-4548.
  • We will offer a make-up for any session missed by your Music Therapist or for any session canceled by MCMS (due to weather or other closures). These make-up sessions will be scheduled with your Music Therapist. If suitable, an online session or consultation may be offered as a make-up.

Individual or group session cancellation:

  • In case of client illness or other absence, one make-up session per year is available if a caregiver/family member cancels the session in advance on the day of the session. If a session is canceled with less than 3 hours notice, this will be considered ‘late contact’ and a make-up session will not be offered. Please note, with COVID, there may be exceptions to this policy.
  • Please contact your Music Therapist (via text, phone, or email) and please also call the MCMS office at (603) 644-4548 regarding any cancellations as early as possible.


If you have any questions about this policy, please talk with your Music Therapist and/or the Director of Music Therapy:

Suzanne Denu, MT-BC
Director of Music Therapy, Adaptive Lessons, and Early Childhood
Manchester Community Music School
(603) 644-4548, ext. 206