Location: Evansville, IN area
812-491-9400 (Integrative Music Therapy)
812-491-9401 (Optimal Rhythms / ACCESS Academy)
Originally from Columbus, Indiana, Karen (Casey) DePriest is a 1994 graduate of the University of Evansville. Casey began her career working in physical rehabilitation, then child/adolescent psychiatric treatment.
Casey is the owner and senior therapist of Integrative Music Therapy, LLC, which offers individual and group music therapy services, services for individuals with disabilities as an authorized IN Medicaid Waiver provider, school-based music therapy eligibility assessements, and Individualized Education Program (IEP) services.
Casey is also a Facilitated Communication (FC) Trainer, and is in the process of completing her Master Trainer training in conjunction with the Institute on Communication and Inclusion (ICI) at Syracuse University.
A New Approach to Education and Training for Autistic Children
Casey recently started a new Non-profit organization, Optimal Rhythms, Inc. Optimal Rhythms is committed to providing best practice approaches to treatment during their programs. All treatments and strategies are evidence-based and provided by highly trained, licensed, or credentialed staff.
Additionally, in August 2014, Optimal Rhythms opened ACCESS Academy, a new private school in Evansville, IN. ACCESS (Assuming Competence Can Ensure Student Success) is a special private day school for students with severe autism. The school’s unique neurologic approach addresses the movement issues associated with autism while always assuming competence.
Key programmatic elements of ACCESS Academy include:
- General Education Curriculum with instruction by a Licensed Teacher
- Whole Group Instruction with Differentiated Learning
- Natural Environment Life Skills Training
- Use of Positive Behavioral Supports
- Sensory Supports to Improve Body Awareness and Neurologic Connectivity
- Communication Strategies which Provide Support for Movement Issues that May Be Restricting Verbal Communication and Hiding Intellectual Competence
- Highly Trained Program and Therapy Staff
- High Staff to Student Ratios to Ensure Safety and Access to Communication and Learning Supports
About Casey DePriest
In 2002, Casey began work in private practice and became an Indiana Medicaid Waiver provider. Since that time she has developed her practice into a music therapy agency which has been able to reach a greater number of clients across the tri-state area through the addition of other qualified therapists.
In October 2011, she completed her Neurologic Music Therapy training, earned her NMT, and was inducted into the Robert F. Unkefer Academy of Neurologic Music Therapy.
Casey is the State Chair of the Music Therapy Task Force of The Association for the Indiana Music Therapy, which works to raise awareness and provide increased access to quality music therapy services in Indiana. She has testified at the Indiana Statehouse and continues to work closely with legislators to further the goals of the task force.
Casey is also a board member of the Friends of UE Music (FUEM,) which was established to provide financial support for the University of Evansville’s Department of Music special projects, and to aid in creating a close bond among the department, its students and alumni, parents, and their many supporters.
Casey completed the Music Together Teacher Training during the summer of 2009. She became a licensed Music Together Center Director in October 2009.
About Neurologic Music Therapy
Neurologic Music Therapy is defined as the therapeutic application of music to cognitive, sensory, and motor function due to neurologic disease of the human nervous system.
Neurologic Music Therapy is research-based treatment utilizing techniques based on the scientific knowledge in music perception and production, and the effects on non-musical brain and behavior functions.
Disorders that have effectively treated with Neurologic Music Therapy include:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease
- Cerebral Palsy
- Autism Spectrum Disorders
- MS, Muscular Dystrophy, and other neurological diseases affecting cognition, movement, and communication
About the Robert F. Unkefer Academy of Neurologic Music Therapy
The Academy of Neurologic Music Therapy, maintained at Colorado State University, was established in 2002 to advance the professional education and understanding of the scientific, evidence-based practice of Neurologic Music Therapy, and to facilitate the coordinated and cooperative efforts of NMTs throughout the world.
The International Training Program of the Academy is endorsed by the World Federation of Neurologic Rehabilitation (WFNR), by the European Federation of Neurorehabilitation Societies (EFNS) and the International Society for Clinical Neuromusicology (CNM). Training is also approved by the U.S. Certification Board for Music Therapists (CBMT) as advanced provider for Continuing Music Therapy Education (CMTE) credits.
More information: Robert F. Unkefer Academy of Neurologic Music Therapy (opens in new window)
About The Association for the Indiana Music Therapy
In Indiana, there are three undergraduate music therapy programs and two graduate music therapy programs educating and training new music therapists to meet the increasing need for services.
- Provide and encourage continuing education for AIMT members
- Increase awareness of Music Therapy to the general public and related professionals in the state of Indiana
- Increase access to quality music therapy services in the state of Indiana
More information: The Association for the Indiana Music Therapy (opens in new window)
About Music Together
Music Together is an internationally recognized early childhood music program for babies, toddlers, preschoolers, kindergarteners, first and second graders, and the adults who love them. First offered to the public in 1987, it pioneered the concept of a research-based, developmentally appropriate early childhood music curriculum that strongly emphasizes and facilitates adult involvement.
Music Together classes are based on the recognition that all children are musical; they can learn to sing in tune, keep a beat, and participate with confidence in the music of our culture, provided that their early environment supports such learning.
Central to the Music Together approach is that young children learn best from the powerful role model of parents/caregivers who are actively making music. The program brings families together by providing a rich musical environment in the classroom and by facilitating family participation in spontaneous musical activity at home within the context of daily life.