Who We Serve:
HoofnHorn Music Therapy Studio specializes in serving individuals of all ages who face communication, cognitive, or social challenges.
Populations served include those on the autism spectrum, as well as individuals with intellectual disabilities, learning disorders, physical challenges, and emotional needs.
No diagnosis or label is needed to seek music therapy service.
Where are Services Delivered?
When possible, music therapy takes place at the HoofnHorn music therapy studio in West Linn. This offers maximum access to medium sized xylophones, drums, an array of picture books, and a variety of small percussion and props. The studio literally holds the space where music therapy can take place (free from home distractions). When warranted, services are delivered in the client’s home, school, or day center.
HoofnHorn Music Therapy Studio is committed to offering a sensory-rich and client-centered approach to learning and growth. The natural setting at Happy Trails Riding Center provides a relaxed, comfortable and acoustic atmosphere as an antidote to our busy and plugged-in world.
As Karla Fisher says on Karla’s ASD Perspective Page: "The farm makes life all better somehow. It is very peaceful here. Every autistic person should have a farm....."
When I was growing up, there were two things that kept me grounded, that kept me from having a much more difficult growing up experience than I had. Those two things were horses and music. I rode ponies, and later horses, in 4-H. Caring for my equine friend and bonding with my riding friends were central for me. In 6th grade, I joined band and learned to play the French horn. Again, having a place to connect with others that was structured was critical for my very shy child self.
I’ve been fascinated with autism since I met the child of my father’s colleague when I was 10. I was intensely curious about his echolalia and the mannerisms I had never seen before (this was before students were mainstreamed). As a music teacher, we had one child with the label of autism in our small rural school. I was the only one asking why this child ran from school. Later I became a 1:1 companion/nanny for an autistic 6 year old with emerging language. I started devouring everything by Oliver Sacks, Temple Grandin, and Donna Williams. This led to my focus in my masters program and my specialty as a music therapist. It was only many years later that I came to recognize that I am spectrum-y myself.
After I quit my career as a music teacher, I had an epiphany while on a road trip with a friend. I wanted to create a place where people with autism could enjoy community through music and horses. And I named it HoofnHorn.
Where’s the Hoof?
The long term vision for HoofnHorn is to include horses as an additional sensory experience along with music therapy. There are no horses currently being used in conjunction with HoofnHorn music therapy studio.
For those willing to drive to Salem, Horses of Hope is an exceptional equine therapy provider. I volunteer there on Thursdays, exploring the overlay between music therapy and horses.
Riding lessons are available at the barn adjacent to HoofnHorn through Falls Creek Stables.