What is the Harmony Experience?
The Harmony Experience is a music therapy program for mental health, emotional well-being, and personal growth. Developed and facilitated by Ami Kunimura, MT-BC, a board certified music therapist, the Harmony Experience addresses personal challenges using music as a therapeutic tool for positive change. No musical skill is necessary to participate. During the program, participants are guided through creative exercises to encourage self-exploration through music and to experience the therapeutic benefits of music. Our standard and custom programs are 6-weeks long, however ongoing music therapy services and group services for treatment facilities are also available. Program options are explained here, and learn more about Ami here.
What is music therapy?
Music therapy is an evidenced-based health profession that uses music in clinical settings to address personal goals. Music therapists are board-certified practitioners who are trained to integrate the power of music with a therapeutic relationship to help people attain an improved experience of life.
For more information on music therapy and the therapeutic benefits for mental health, read more here.
Who is it for?
We offer individual programs for teens (ages 13-18), young adults (ages 19-30), and adults (ages 30+).
Group programs are available for treatment centers in the Los Angeles area.
Programs goals are geared towards addressing issues related to self-esteem, identity formation, depression, emotional balance, anxiety management, coping with change, motivation, and personal development. The Harmony Experience also supports individuals in treatment for trauma, addiction recovery, ADHD, eating disorders, and mood disorders.
The way music is used will vary by the individual and their preferences, abilities, goals, and musical background. No musical experience necessary to participate. If suitable to their goals, non-musicians will learn about the basic structure of music, and simple music making techniques for self-expression, non-verbal communication, and increased creativity. Musicians will be encouraged to use their musical abilities and further develop their talents in the program, and will be taught how to use these abilities constructively for personal development. It is normal to feel intimidated by the music making process, however music therapy focuses on therapeutic goals and meaningful experiences. Therefore no judgement is placed on how “good” the music sounds, but rather on the personal gains made in process.
Five ways music is used in the Harmony Experience:
Listening to live or recorded music allows an individual to to process themes through self-reflection, lyric analysis, and discussions. The simple act of listening to music is used to validate and understand emotions, improve mood, reduce anxiety, and build empathy. Listening may also be combined with relaxation exercises, movement, and art.
2. Creative Expression
Creativity and self-expression are nurtured through playing instruments, singing, song-writing, composition, and creative writing. Individuals are guided through exercises to help channel emotions into a healthy outlet, express thoughts in unique ways, process personal challenges, and reflect on personal insights.
Improvisation involves creating music in the moment for an authentic and spontaneous expression of feelings. Individuals are able to freely create music, externalize emotions, tap into thoughts and feelings and creatively express them, and express things that cannot be put into words.
Live or recorded music is used to facilitate music-assisted meditation, breathing exercises, and mindfulness based practices.
5. Music as a Coping Skill
The use of music in daily life is explored as a way to cope with stressors and change, as well as improve quality of life.
What can I expect?
Acceptance, encouragement, and respect through a creative and client-centered approach to therapy. One of the fundamental principles of music therapy is meeting an individual where they are. Musical skill or preference will not be judged or criticized, but rather used as a tool for communication and growth. Creative expression will be encouraged, but you will never be forced to participate in a music activity you are not comfortable with.
How does it work?
Enroll and participate in 5 simple steps:
1. Call or email to schedule a free 20-minute phone consultation to discuss your goals and program options.
2. Choose your program options.
3. Schedule your program dates and times. All programs meet once a week for 45-minutes.
4. Attend your first session where you will be guided though a survey of your strengths, challenges, goals, and an in-depth survey of your music preferences in order to determine your treatment plan.
5. Enjoy the Harmony Experience.
Enrollment, policies, and payment information can be found HERE.
Where is the Harmony Experience located?
Session are held at AMUSE the Palos Verdes Music Center:
43C Peninsula Center, Rolling Hills Estates, CA 90274.
A limited number of home visits are available at an extra cost.
Ami is not only talented but also extremely gifted as a teacher and mentor. In her music therapy groups she has the ability to help one reach deep within themselves to bring out emotions and thoughts that may otherwise stay locked away. I gained a good deal of insight about myself with Ami’s instruction. Ami is a very positive person. She has a very gentle, kind, and compassionate spirit. She is soft spoken and has passion and love for her work. She is wonderful working with children as well as adults. Working with Ami was an enlightening experience. -L.H.