Ep. 24: Autism Interventions with Music, with Esther Thane, MTA, AVPT

January 7, 2020

Guided therapeutic music creation and experiences can help both children and adults on the autism spectrum with social, physical, emotional, verbal, and cognitive skill sets. Music engages one’s curiosity and inner motivation, resulting in increased attention span, social bonds, and deeper integration of skills. Interventions address crossing the midline, cathartic release of emotion, auditory defensiveness, prosody of speech, and more. Receive 50% off Rooted in Music relaxation package, created for those on the autism spectrum, and also popular with neuro-typical people of all ages in schools, senior centers, dental clinics, and harm reduction addiction facilities.


Esther Thane, MTA, AVPT

Esther Thane has specialized for over 20 years in the field of Autism and special needs. She spent 14 years on the faculty of Capilano University, teaching in the Bachelor of Music Therapy Program. She created Meet In The Music (MITM) music therapy curriculum for children with autism, which is utilized by music therapists throughout the United States and Canada.  Esther is currently Executive Director of ET Music Therapy in Vancouver, British Columbia.


  • The Meet In The Music music therapy covers the following skill domains: Cognition, Communication, Physical, Social, and Emotional. A multitude of music therapy interventions/activities are used to target developmental goals and objectives, from impulse control and self regulation, to crossing the midline, prosody of speech & auditory discrimination skills.
  • Occupational Octaves Piano program is an adapted piano instruction program for special needs children. It utilizes a color ring system to enhance body-mind connection.
  • Esther’s publication in the book: Voicework in Music Therapy (Jessica Kingsley Publishers), focuses on her innovative method of Vocal-Led Relaxation for Children with Autism.
  • ET Music Therapy implements the MITM program with over 90 families in two studio locations, in schools, and in homes.
  • Esther presents at conferences, writes book reviews for published journals, holds workshops for universities, local agencies and abroad.
  • Esther mentions the importance to Gabby Giffords of music therapy in re-learning to speak. (Listen to our interview with Giffords’ music therapist, Maegan Morrow, in Episode 4: Music Rewires the Brain.)
  • Below is the video we reference, with Esther demonstrating a special call-and-response conversation and affirmation with a sweet little kiddo:


Esther describes her Rooted in Music relaxation package, and offers 50% off to listeners (regular price is $19.95). Created for those on the autism spectrum, these recordings are also popular with neuro-typical people of all ages in schools, senior centers, dental clinics, and harm reduction addiction facilities. They are especially helpful for bedtime, transitions, and stress reduction.

The package includes several mp3 files:

  • 5-minute version (played as this episode’s Coda)
  • 10-minute version
  • 20-minute transition version
  • 20-minute fall asleep version.

Go to Rooted in Music Relaxation Recordings, add to cart, and use promo code MEETINTHEMUSIC for 50% off.


Closing Words

And that is the first couple minutes of the 5-minute recording included in Esther’s Rooted in Music relaxation package. This IS incredibly soothing and relaxing – If you’re listening to this while you’re driving, hopefully you didn’t fall asleep in those couple minutes! With the discount Esther has offered listeners, you can get the entire package for $10 (regular price is $19.95; see Improv, above, for details). If you’d like a few musical tidbits during the week, follow me on Instagram and Facebook (using the handle @EnhanceLifeMusic). I usually post a few times during the week with extra pictures from interviews, or my life, or topics related to enjoying music’s benefits. Next Tuesday is the Tuesday before Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and our topic will be in honor of that day.  To conveniently receive this episode when it releases, be sure to hit the subscribe button on whatever podcast app you use. This automatically delivers each new episode to your device, so it is ready to go whenever/wherever you are ready to listen, whether that is on your commute, shuttling kids around, working out, doing yardwork (which includes shoveling snow for those of us in Minnesota right now). When you subscribe, this also helps the show and helps others find the show, since new subscribers are very important in the Apple Podcasts algorithm. Something else that helps others discover the show is ratings: please help the show and advocate for music by rating this podcast in your app. To do this, you need to do a search for the podcast – even if you’re already subscribed (thank you if you are). Click on Enhance Life with Music podcast in your search screen, and scroll down until you get to Ratings & Reviews. This is where you tap 5 stars (hopefully!) to rate and you can also write a review for an even bigger music advocacy boost! Thank you so much for joining us today. Until next week, may your life be enhanced with music.  

Disclosure: Some of this site’s product links are affiliate links, which means we may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, for purchases made through these links. 

One response to “Ep. 24: Autism Interventions with Music, with Esther Thane, MTA, AVPT”