Role of Music Therapy at Anwatin
Ms. Beth

My name is Beth Wiskus – students refer to me as Ms. Beth.  I am a Board Certified Music Therapist working in the ALPHA program at Anwatin Middle School.  Music Therapy is the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish non-musical individualized goals.  It is an established health profession in which music is used to address physical, emotional, cognitive, communication and social needs of individuals (American Music Therapy Association – AMTA).   

As the music therapist at Anwatin, I provide programmatic music therapy (MT) services for three separate classes of students in the ALPHA special education DCD program.  Within the educational setting, the focus of music therapy draws from a combination between traditional MT techniques and music education standard instruction.  Many students in the special education program at Anwatin Middle School are not able to participate in regular music classes such as band or choir due to inhibiting academic, motor, sensory, social or behavioral circumstances related to their disabilities.  Therefore, within my MT classes, in addition to teaching specific music education standards, I focus on using all aspects of music therapeutically to help meet the non-musical educational needs of each student as outlined in their Individual Education Plans (IEP).  More specifically, music and rhythm are used to facilitate and improve:

  • fine and gross motor coordination skills
  • sensorimotor and self regulation skills
  • speech & language / communication skills
  • academic skills (e.g. reading, math, science)
  • cognitive skills (e.g. social skills, attention, relaxation) 

My Background

I grew up in Fairfield, Montana on a ranch only 3 hours from Glacier Park.  I enjoy riding horses, hiking and spending time with friends and family.  I have lived in Minnesota since 1989. 

Education 

  • BA Music Education from Concordia College in Moorhead, MN
  • MA Music Therapy University of MN Twin Cities
  • Fellowship in Neurologic Music Therapy from The Academy of Neurologic Music Therapy, Colorado State University

Contact  
beth.wiskus@mpls.k12.mn.us
612-668-2450 x39062