The Music Therapy Wellness Clinic at CSUN
The Music Therapy Wellness Clinic provides individually designed music activities for children and adults with disabilities and special challenges, including autism, developmental delay, physical, mental and emotional disorders, and learning disabilities.
Music therapy is a field that uses music in a prescribed manner as a treatment for rehabilitating, maintaining, and improving the lives of persons with physical, intellectual and emotional disabilities. Music Therapy is a creative arts therapy similar to others such as Art, Dance, and Drama Therapy. It is, however, unique in that music provides an accessible and enjoyable medium for growth and learning. It is a healing art, based on scientific principles and grounded in research.
The Music Therapy Wellness Clinic is dedicated to creating an environment where an individual with special challenges can acquire necessary life skills through the unique, creative and enjoyable medium of music. Our therapists are internationally recognized and encompass a range of techniques and areas of expertise. Our entire treatment team is dedicated to creating the opportunity for each participant to express his or her true creative essence while gaining needed skills and enhancing self-esteem.
The Music Therapy Wellness Clinic is a teaching clinic for the CSUN Music Therapy Department. As such, all sessions are utilized for student observation and learning and are part of the educational process for future music therapists.
Some of the benefits of Music Therapy include:
- Development of fine and gross motor skills
- Improvement in acquisition and application of academic fundamentals
- Development of practical life skills
- Increase in socialization
- Enhancement of self-esteem
- Expansion of the quality of life through musical enjoyment and creative self-expression
The Music Therapy Wellness Clinic provides individual and group sessions conducted by a highly trained and experienced Music Therapist. A variety of instruments are used, including piano, guitar, percussion, autoharp, recorder, electronic instruments, harmonica, and voice.
The Music Therapy Wellness Clinic Directors
Ron Borczon, Director
Ron Borczon, MT-BC, founded the Music Therapy Department at California State University, Northridge in 1984. After more than 25 years, he remains director of the program, one of only two in the State of California. He also instructs classical guitar at the university. Mr. Borczon holds a M.M. degree from the University of Southwestern Louisiana, a B.M. in Music Therapy and a B.A. in Music with an emphasis on performance, from Florida State University. Ron has been recognized internationally for his innovative approach with victims of traumatic events and has been honored by the American Music Therapy Association, as well as the Western Region American Music Therapy Association. He is the author of Music Therapy Group Vignettes and Music Therapy Fieldwork Primer. Ron has served as Director of the Music Therapy Program since 1984 and Director of the Clinic since 1996.
Yessenia Gonzalez, Assistant Director
Yessenia Gonzalez is a graduate from the Music Therapy Program at CSUN and a holds a Master's in Social Work degree from USC. Yessenia completed her clinical internship at Fairview Developmental Center, in Costa Mesa Ca where she worked with adults with a wide range of disabilities and behavioral- emotional needs. She began her work experience at the CSUN MTWC in 2014, working with a wide variety of clients, in both individual and group settings. Yessenia is the director for the Rising Star Choir, and CSUN MTWC Assistant director. Through the implementation and integration of technology, she is able to meet the needs of her clients. Her clinical training as a social worker has focused on children and families, and consisted of work in schools and non-profits. Along with her current work at CSUN, Yessenia works in Mental Health as a Psychiatric Social Worker, where she uses music to build rapport and engage with her clients.
Clinicians of the Music Therapy Wellness Clinic
Rebeca Orantes, Clinician
Rebeca Orantes is a board certified music therapist that completed her Bachelor of Arts in Music Therapy at CSUN. Rebeca is our lead outreach therapist at CHIME. Rebeca co-leads our Reminiscing Through Music Group for older adults and Kidz Music & Movement Group. Prior to graduating, she completed her internship at Professional Child Development Associates in Pasadena, CA. She worked with children with a wide range of disabilities. Rebeca was trained in the DIR/Floortime® approach, a relationship-based model that focuses on the social-emotional development of a child. In addition, Rebeca has experience working with geriatric populations in assisted living facilities, memory care homes, and senior centers, using music to promote wellness, memory recall, and life enrichment.
Judy Langdon, Clinician
Judy Langdon is a graduate from the Music Therapy Program at Cal State, Northridge. She is the Director for the Asteroids Band and Co- director for Sunshine Singers, and Rising Star Choir. Judy is our lead outreach therapist at LAUSD Lokrantz Sped Elem where she runs Music Therapy groups. Judy completed her clinical internship at Professional Child Development Associates in Pasadena, California, where she received training in DIR®/FloortimeTM, a relationship-based therapy model. Judy also works as Music Therapist at a acute psychiatric facility, and also utilizes her music therapy expertise and techniques to facilitate sessions at teen rehab centers and various camps.
Debbie Sipos, Clinician
Debbie Sipos is a board certified music therapist, with a specialty certificate in neurologic music therapy. Debbie is our lead outreach hospital therapist. She also has a private music therapy practice in Thousand Oaks, where she is a private music instructor for typical students as well as those with special needs. Debbie received her SEA certification from the UCLArts and HealingProgram. Debbie completed her clinical fieldwork and internship at Aegis Assisted Living, and graduated with her 2nd BA in Music Therapy from CSUN.
Music Wellness: Outreach Services
Music Wellness is a community outreach program trough the MTWC that aims to provide music therapy services to individuals in the community and scholarships for low income families. Currently our program is able to provide outreach services through grant funding provided by the Music Man foundation, Remo and ACM Lifting Lives. As a teaching clinic, we are providing learning opportunities for future music therapists in various areas of practice. Our clinic currently provides outreach services at Lokrantz Special Ed center, Dignity Health; Northridge Hospital, CHIME School, and Simi Valley Adventist Hospital. This music program provides participants with opportunities for music engagement. A non-threatening environment where participants can socialize while exploring their musical side and creating music together. Using partner songs, simple harmonies, and even some original tunes, we work with our participants to increase music making, coping skills, and reduce pain, while also laying the foundation for enjoying music with self and others.
MTWC Music Groups
The Rising Star Choir
The Rising Star choir is a unique musical experience geared toward children with Autism. The choir sings music of different styles as well as music that the choir members compose individually in addition to music composed as a group. During the rehearsals, non-music goals such as socialization, self-esteem, attention to task and the creative process are considered and structured for by the Music Therapist. Currently, the choir participates in two performances yearly, one in December and the other in May. Funding from the Rising Star Music Fund provides the tuition for all participants so that there is no cost to the family.
The Sunshine Singers
The Sunshine Singers is a music therapy group whose approach is based upon the naturally inherent therapeutic situations that result from learning, rehearsing, and performing as a choir. Choir members are young adults with a wide array of challenges. Each individual is encouraged to share their unique voice, and when all these voices come together, the Sunshine Singers shine. Despite the differences between the individual members who make up the choir, each and every one embarks on a journey of creative collaboration. The infectious joy of this process is then shared with an audience, who walk away touched by the music of these performers.
The Asteroids promote the use of music to express one self, increase creativity, and imagination. Through the love of music they can learn too express themselves using real instruments such as the guitar, ukulele or drums, along with virtual instruments and programs. Teens will compose their own songs, and create their own music to go along. Music provides a positive outlet for creative self-expression, and many young adults/teens have an interest in music and song writing.
Reminiscing Through Music
Reminiscing Through Music provides individuals with a time to reflect on their life and share music together. Music has an impact on our mental & physical state. Adults can harness the power of music to improve their daily lives & improve their mood. Learning to adapt to the changes of time, can be stressful, isolating, and exhausting! Music can help increase mobility, awareness, confidence, language, and increase self confidence.
Kidz Music & Movement
Kidz Music & Movement lets us tap into how music promotes learning with musical games, rhythm, and lots of fun. This group class will teach kids musical skills through rhythm games, singing, creative movement, dancing, musical play, and the use of instruments. This class will provide a positive, and successful musical experience to children. Through Interactive story time, we will use songs increase communication, attention to task, and enjoyment.
To contact the clinic please call 818-677-5663 or you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org