welcome to MTGIC!

Music Therapy Gateway In Communications, Inc.

Our Mission

To advocate for and deliver quality neurologic music (biomedical) protocols in the form of one-on-one sessions and web-based application software to families who would otherwise have no means of finding resources to help them. 


MTGIC was incorporated as a non-profit organization in the state of Tennessee in 2003 and attained 501(c)3 status shortly thereafter.

Long-Term Goals

1.) Automate specific biomedical protocols into computer apps.
2). Create a concert series to help celebrate the cause of music in therapy by educating the concert-going audience.
3). Continue ongoing research using music to help special needs children.

Latest News

MTGIC is a funded agency of the Tennessee General Assembly administered in cooperation with the State of Tennessee, the Tennessee Arts Commission (TAC), Arts Build Communities (ABC) grant program, ARTS Build of Chattanooga and the National Endowment for the Arts. As part of the ongoing Concert Music N.O.T.E.S. project, MTGIC is pleased to announce collaborative concert events with the UTC Department of Music along with musicians from the Chattanooga Symphony in February 2015, at the Cadek Conservatory on the UTC campus in March 2015, and with the Erie Chamber Orchestra in April 2015. April is Autism Awareness Month, and it is fitting to help celebrate the month with concerts helping to celebrate the therapeutic as well as artistic elements of music. 

The collaborative concert with the UTC Department of Music and the CSO is made possible by a grant that MTGIC received again in the 2014-15 season from the Tennessee Arts Commission Arts Build Communities program. "Chamber Music for Body and Soul II" will take place in the Roland Hayes Auditorium on Friday evening Feb 13th at 7:30 pm, with a pre-concert lecture starting at 7:00 pm. The concert will feature the collosal Piano Quintet of Robert Schumann (thought to have had bi-polar disorder) along with toe-tapping rhythmic compositions by Mario Abril and Astor Piazzolla.

On Sunday afternoon March 22nd, 2015 at 3:00 pm, a unique performance / workshop event will take place at the Cadek Conservatory on the UTC campus. "Tales of the Neural Tango" is an interactive event featuring music on the first half of the concert by composers who had neural afflications (Beethoven - deafness, Schumann - bi-polar disorder, Messiaen - synesthesia) woven with discussion about biomedical music techniques and an a multi-media presentation. The second half of the concert will feature rhythmic works of Tjeknavorian and Piazzolla to encourage the audience to feel how the rhythm starts a finger or toe tapping to the music almost subconsiously.

Finally, MTGIC is very excited to collaborate with the Erie Chamber Orchestra in April 2015 in a series of events to help celebrate music in therapy during a week in residence with the orchestra. The week will begin with a collaborative recital of chamber works composed by composers with neural afflictions. It will culminate with Summa-Chadwick performing as piano soloist with the orchestra in a concert named The Burden of Genius highlighting all works of composers with neural afflications. Summa-Chadwick will join the ECO as soloist with the Beethoven Choral Fantasy. In between the performance events, Summa-Chadwick will be lecturing at the Barber Institute and other educational institutions to share information about biomedical musical techniques and ideas to work with those with special needs.

All events are free of charge and open to the public.


Ongoing projects

Concert Music N.O.T.E.S

Concert Music N.O.T.E.S

MTGIC has received a grant from the UNFoundation of Chattanooga to establish a concert series which will help celebrate the cause of music used in therapy. The Concert Music N.O.T.E.S (Neuro Optimization Through Essential Styles) project includes music in traditional concert settings which will be viewed with a fresh context. The music includes various forms of the dance along with works of composers who had neural afflictions.

Downloadable Music

Martha, along with her small harp, recently accompanied a nervous child to the doctor's office at the request of a parent. She played music to the child in hopes of calming her down, and found the improvement was dramatic while the music was playing. To share this experience with more parents, MTGIC now offers simple music downloads for parents to see if it would help their own children under such circumstances also. To access, click on the Resource tab to the left and then click on the Sample Music button.

Educational Presentations

As a part of the Concert Music N.O.T.E.S grant, educational presentations are available in the form of didactic PowerPoint presentations to various groups of parents, educators, therapists, and musicians to help explain the science behind music used in therapeutic settings, and suggest ways that each group could use these techniques.

About Us

Executive Director

Organization founder and Executive Director Dr. Martha Summa-Chadwick has a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Kansas and is a Fellow of the Academy of Neurologic Music Therapy; she is uniquely qualified to direct this organization, having enjoyed successful careers as concert pianist, teacher, and Information Technologist.  She is a great advocate of music therapy and partners with certified music therapists whenever possible even though she is not a certified music therapist herself.  Additional details and resume can be found on her personal website, www.marthasumma.com.

Board of Directors

Mario Abril - Mario is Professor of guitar and composition/theory at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, and Composer-In-Residence with the Chattanooga Symphony and Opera. His academic accreditation includes a degree in guitar performance from The University of Albuquerque, New Mexico, and a Ph.D. degree in music theory from Florida State University School of Music.

Mayada Dhanani - Mayada is a therapist with a Master's Degree in Counseling and Human Development from Vanderbilt University.  She worked with children, adolescents and families in a multitude of social and physical settings and has previously held the position of Director of Camelot Care Centers Inc. in Chattanooga.  Mayada served on several Boards, and is the past President of the Board of Signal Centers of Chattanooga.

Diane Miller - Diane is retired from being Director of the University of Tennessee at  Chattanooga's Grants and Research Division; she has a Master's Degree in Public Administration.   Her 19 year old son Jimmy has participated in the neuro music sessions and is diagnosed with PDD-NOS.

Rick Rader - Director of the Morton J, Kent Habilitation Center at Orange Grove Center, Chattanooga, TN, Dr. Rader is involved with the implementation of innovative programs addressing the needs of individuals with intellectual disabilities.  He is the Special Liaison for Healthcare at the presidents Committee on People with Intellectual Disabilities and the Editor in chief of Exceptional Parent Magazine.  He is an Adjunct Professor in Human Development at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.  Dr. Rader is a member of the board of the American Academy on Developmental Medicine and Dentistry.

MaryBeth Sutton - Mary Beth is Executive Director of the international non profit, The Caribbean Student Environmental Alliance which trains teachers and students how to take responsibility for their local environment.  She earned a Master of Science in Public Health in Environmental Chemistry and Biology as well as a Master of Arts in Teaching from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and her Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. 


these items can be downloaded, viewed, searched on, or linked to

We can all become very ill at ease waiting in the doctor's office, but music can provide an immediately calming effect in most cases. The following samples were recorded on harp or piano and can be downloaded and used in stressful circumstances. MTGIC makes no guarantees of success but has seen improvement in all children this has been tried with to date. Typically a child enjoys the slower tempo for calming, but if they're very agitated (with an elevated heartrate) they may respond better to a faster version at first. Therefore, most pieces have been recorded twice, once at a medium tempo (the musical definition of the speed or pace of a piece of music) and once at a slower tempo.

The harp pieces were recorded with a 'drone' accompaniment, the children seem to have responded better to a very simple unchanging harmony most of the time than to more complex harmonic structure. The harp music is also all in the key of C Major for easy looping potential. The piano arrangements are simple when possible, but have more complex chord structures than the harp music.

Harp -Twinkle,Twinkle

Harp music sample. Very simple and soft version of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. Key of C.

1. Twinkle, Twinkle - medium
2. Twinkle Twinkle - slow


Harp - Little Lamb

Harp music sample. Very simple and soft version of Mary Had a Little Lamb. Key of C.

1. Mary Had a Little lamb - medium
2. Mary Had a Little Lamb - slow

Harp- Amazing Grace

Harp music sample. Very simple and soft version of Amazing Grace. Key of C.

1. Amazing Grace - medium
2. Amazing Grace - slow

Piano - Ash Grove

Traditional folk song, the Ash Grove is a beautiful simple arrangement.

1. The Ash Grove - medium
2. The Ash Grove - slow


Piano - Bach Minuet

The Bach Minuet in G is a favorite with many children.

1. Bach Minuet in G - medium
2. Bach Minuet in G - slow.

Piano- Bach Prelude

Bach's Prelude in C Major is the first prelude in the first book of the Well Tempered Klavier. Gounod later turned the piece into the well known Ave Maria.

1. Bach Prelude in C - medium
2. Bach Prelude in C - slow.

Piano- Evening Prayer

The 'Evening Prayer' from Humperdinck's opera Hansel and Gretel is a much beloved lullaby.

1. Evening Prayer - medium
2. Evening Prayer - slow

Piano - O Mio Babbino

The gorgeous 'O Mio Babbino Caro' (Oh my Beloved Daddy) from the opera Gianni Schicci is a lovely and calming work and was only recorded once in the correct musical tempo.

O Mio Babbino Caro.

Piano - Pretty Horses

A traditional lullaby, All the Pretty Little Horses is a beautiful tune to relax to.


1. All the Pretty Horses - medium
2. All the Pretty Horses - slow.

Below find three articles that may be of interest that were authored or co-authored by Martha.


Computing Sciences

From the Journal of Computing Sciences in Colleges written in 2005, this article discusses the possibilities of automating some of the neuro music techniques. Click here to see the article.

Organization Spotlight

EP (Exceptional Parent) magazine published this article about MTGIC in Chattanooga in 2006. Click here to see the article.

The Power of Music

EP (Exceptional Parent) magazine published this article in 2009 about the potential of utilizing music with therapies for special needs children. Click here to see the article.

Assistive technology (AT) can make a huge difference in the life of someone with special needs. AT is defined as any device, piece of equipment, or system that helps increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities. AT enhances instruction and is inclusively used with therapy / learning and encourages success at working independently. Many children with autism relate particularly well to this environment since there is no danger of social failure while interfacing with the technology. Also, the technology provides a visual representation, which is generally the strongest processing area of information for persons with autism. The following information helps define various forms of AT and suggest ways that a combination of AT can help enhance life experience as well as provide some websites for additional information.


AT is generally defined as low, medium or high tech. Here's an explanation of what that means.

Low tech

Low tech AT devices are simple, non-computerized devices that help enhance the learning experience in any way. An example could be a pencil grip to assist in holding a pencil, or a velcro wrap to assist in holding a mallet while playing a drum. Other examples could be dry erase boards, clipboards, or photo albums.

Medium tech

Medium tech AT devices are simple electronic or battery-operated devices that don't require much training to operate. Examples could be talking clocks, simple calculators or digital recording devices. Other examples could be CD or MP3 players or simple voice output devices.

High tech

High tech AT is defined as items with motors or multiple electronic parts. A high tech device generally requires a lot of training to use. Examples of high tech AT could be an elecronic wheelchair, a computer or computer tablet, or some form of adaptive system.

And here are some additional resources and information regarding Assitive Technology.

Visual processing

Many children with special needs process visually, and visual schedules and behavioral cue cards can be very motivational. There are an impressive variety of visual schedule aids available ranging from paper copies in a daily diary to electronic calendar versions. Addional infomation as well as free downloads of visual aids can be found here.

Software and apps

A huge variety of apps are available for many facets of working with children with special needs. There are apps available for everything from language to communication to organizational skills. A list of apps for autism can be found here from the AutismSpeaks website. In addition, a blog about kids' educational apps and the people who create them can be found here.


Researched benefits for using AT include 1) increase in attention, both total span and focused attention, 2) increase in fine motor skills, 3) increase in generalization skills (transference from computer to non-computer activities), 4) decrease in agitation, and 5) decrease in self-stimulating behaviors. A helpful website with further explanation can be found here.

The following links are recommended to find further information regarding research, lists of certified music therapists and harp therapists that may be in your area, and organizations that assist those with special needs.



The Center for Biomedical Research in Music at Colorado State University has an enormous research collection. They are the founding researchers of neuro music technique development and offer research listings and classes. Click here to visit their website.



The Institute of Music Physiology and Musicians' Medicine is doing fabulous research involving musicians and how the brain reacts to music. They've got some great research out on their website as well as other information. Click here to visit their website.


The American Music Therapy Association has a wealth of information concerning music therapy as well as a list of certified music therapists in the US and their locations. Click here to visit their website.

World Federation MT

The World Federation of Music Therapy provides information for international resources in music therapy. Click here to visit their website.

Harp Therapy Int.

Harp is a fabulous instrument to use in both the concert hall and therapeutic settings. The International Harp Therapy website lists all the professional facilitators of their program. Click here to visit their website.



The National Institutes of Health offers a vast amount of research on all kinds of disabilities and how they manifest. Click here to visit their website.


The American Association for Multi-Sensory Environment encourages research and development with multi sensory environments. Click here to visit their website, and here to visit Linda Messbauer's website, their lead trainer.

Autism Society

The Autism Society offers information, resources, and news about living with autism for those individuals with autism and their caregivers. Click here to visit their website.

Autism Research Inst.

The Autism Research Institution is another great website to find out about characteristics, symptoms, and research about autism. Click here to visit their website.


The following services are offered by mtgic

1. Client sessions

As grant funding permits, we provide individual sessions with clients utilizing neuro music protocols in an individualized lesson plan based on the client's diagnosis and assessment. Below, see a video example of how RAS (Rhythmic Auditory Stimulation) used to help a young man with his gait; the young man has moderate to severe autism and Cerebral Palsy.

The video on the left side of the screen shows the nine year old child in the initial session of his work with the neuro music protocols.  His gait is unblanced and he has very little bilateral control.  In this example, he is asked to walk with his "knees high" in order to begin an awareness of when movement occurs.  He is willing, but his hips are not strong enough to faciliate; he knows that in order to raise his knees he must bend them, but there is not enough muscle or coordination to succeed. He also has a bit of a 'kinetic stutter' to his gait and doesn't walk with the ease that his typically developing peers do.

The result of ten weeks of RAS is shown in the video on the right side of the screen. Following ten weeks of neuro music protocol session (3 sessions per week) the client is now walking much more rhythmically, and is able to do a bilateral knee slap....this was faciliated in order to mirror a normal gait in which right hand will move forward with left leg, and left hand will move forward with right leg.




2. Information for your organization

MTGIC began a training program in 2008 as a result of a grant in partnership with Orange Grove Center of Chattanooga. Participants received information in the utilization of the neuro music protocols facilitated by certified music therapists. Training formats are available on request for both professional therapists (PT, OT, SLP, etc.) and also parents/educators needing a shorter and less scientific format. Please note that it will take several weeks to arrange the logistics for these sessions, as music therapists will need to be notified and scheduled for the training. Also note that official accreditation in Neurologic Music Therapy training is only available through Colorado State University. A typical three day intensive session for therapy professionals will contain a program such as follows.

Day 1 - Introduction / Music for Speech Production

Science of Music for Therapy; science of entrainment
How to use or create music to enhance therapy
Music for articulation and pacing
Melodic Intonation therapy, a modified approach
Music for speech production and breath support

Day 2 - Music for Sensorimotor Improvements

Music and sensorimotor improvements; basic research
Music for instrinsic movement (gait training)
Music for volitional movement
Sensory awareness for persons with autism

Day 3 - Music for Cognitive Skills

Cognition and music; basic research
Music for Attention Control
Music for auditory perception
Music for Executive Function


3. Specifications for future software development

Following several years of research, MTGIC has created specification design to automate several of the neuro music techniques into software. We have both an autism module and a stroke module designed, and once grant funding is attained and professional web developers are available we'll embark on a project to automate these techniques into web-based software or apps.




4. Lecture / Concert series (Concert Music N.O.T.E.S)

Lecture / concert series to disseminate information to concert hall patrons regarding how the structure of music is utilized in a  therapeutic environment. Click here for more details.



concert music n.o.t.e.s.

(neuro optimization through essential styles)

Concert Music N.O.T.E.S was initially developed thanks to a grant from the great folks at The Unfoundation of Chattanooga. The project goals are to present concerts and educational presentations in order to disseminate information on the value that music can play in a therapeutic environment. To read more about the project, click on the button below.

The background information of Concert Music N.O.T.E.S.

In order to raise public awareness for benefits achieved directly and indirectly thru music, MTGIC seeks to establish a series of presentations and concerts both inside and out of the Chattanooga area for a new form of arts event; Concert Music N.O.T.E.S. is designed as an “outside the box” effort to highlight therapeutic as well as aesthetic elements of music within both traditional concert venues and educational settings.   

Martha Summa-Chadwick, Executive Director of MTGIC will present solo piano recitals that include a pre-concert lecture discussing neural effects of music on the brain.  These concerts will be performed in different venues in the Chattanooga area over the time period of approximately one year. The concert repertoire will include works by composers with neural afflictions, such as Messiaen and Beethoven, as well as forms of the dance to demonstrate how music affects the body.  During this timeframe, Martha will also present the educational portion of the project in the form of PowerPoint presentations/lectures/demonstrations, which will be made available to Chattanooga educational and medical facilities interested in the power that music has on the human body.   Both the recital and lecture will be available for all interested school systems and therapeutic communities.

The final portion of the projeclocal to Chattanooga will culminate in a collaborative concert co-sponsored by the UTC Department of Music that will bring together a major coalition of musical organizations in the Chattanooga area.  The first half of the concert will involve professional musicians collaborating on classical chamber works composed by those with neural afflictions.  The second half will focus on the intrinsic joy manifested through music, and a core of musicians from the Chattanooga Symphony and Opera woodwind and string quintets will collaborate in lighter musical repertoire. 

This project brings exciting new artistic ideas.  It’s truly a “win/win” situation as the target audience for the concerts includes both “typical” concert patrons and also attracts new audience members interested in the use of music in therapy that have attended the educational presentations and then become interested in exposure to traditional concert settings.  The end result is that the typical concert patrons gain additional insight into music and a broader perspective of the role music can play in therapeutic use while new audiences become interested in attending concerts after learning about the fascinating way in which music affects the brain and central nervous system. 

Program is available to all interested parties

While the project is originating in the Chattanooga TN area, there are already three other areas that Martha will take the recital to on a national basis. Please check the schedule for all upcoming events. Interested parties both local to Chattanooga and outside the Chattanooga area that would like to sponsor a Concert Music N.O.T.E.S can contact Martha using the 'contact' webform listed below.

Concert Music N.O.T.E.S Sample programs

To view sample programs, click on the button below.

Solo recital program

Composers in the first half of the program all had some form of neural affliction. The second half of the program is made of up forms of the dance so that the audience can experience the toe-tapping effect that music has on the body.

Sonata no. 18, op. 31 no. 3 - Beethoven
Presto con fuoco

Etude-Tableau no. 5, op. 39 - Rachmaninoff

Le baiser sur l'Enfant-Jesus (Vingt Regards) - Messian




Fairy Tales - Medtner
Op. 51 no. 3
Op. 14 no. 3 (March of the Paladin)

Fantastic Dances for the Piano - Tjeknavorian
Danse Rhythmique
Danse Lyrique
Danse d'extase

Danzas Argentinas, op. 2 - Ginastera
Danza del viejo boyero
Danza de la moza donosa
Danza del gaucho matrero

Tangos and Milango - Piazzolla
Invierno Porteno
Milonga del Angel
La Muerte del Angel

Gershwin piano rolls - Gershwin, arr. Gershwin
Fascinating Rhythm
The Man I Love
I Got Rhythm



Chamber music programs available

Martha will travel to your location if other interested professional musicians wish to collaborate on a chamber music version of the program. In Chattanooga, the collaborative concert resulting from grant funding will be as follows:


Schumann Fantasy Pieces Op. 73 for violin and piano
Schumann Frauenliebe und Leben for voice and piano
Clara Schumann Romances for violin and piano


Bolling Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano:
1. Baroque and Blue
2. Sentimentale
3. Javanaise
4. Fugace
5. Irlandaise
6. Versatile
7. Véloce


Concert Music N.O.T.E.S. Schedule

Click the button below to see the concert/lecture series schedule

Upcoming concerts / lectures

The following shows both upcoming Concert Music N.O.T.E.S events and also lists past events.

Date/time Location Event Type

March 22, 2015

3:00 pm

Cadek Conservatory of Music

UTC campus (725 Oak St.)

Tales of the Neural Tango recital / workshop

April 13, 2015

7:30 pm (7:00 lecture)

Erie Chamber Orchestra recital

Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Erie, PA

recital series recital

April 14-16, 2015


Barber Institute

Erie, PA

Biomedical Music techniques lecture series

April 17th, 2015 7:30 PM (7:00 lecture)

Erie Chamber Orchestra program

First Presbyterian Church of the Convenant

250 W. 7th St. Erie, PA

The Burden of Genius


Past concerts / lectures



Event Type

Feb 13, 2015

7:30 pm (7:00 lecture)

Roland Hayes Auditorium

UTC campus

Chamber Music for Body and Soul II recital

November 7, 2014

12:00 pm

Scenic Chattanooga Optimist Club

Broad St. Grill, Chattanooga, TN

An overview of how biomedical music techniques can help special needs children lecture

October 27, 2014

9:00 am

Burlington UM Family Services

Keyser, WV

Using Music to Enhance Neurological Function for Improvements in Cognition, Sensorimotor Function, and Speech Production.


October 26, 2014

3:00 pm

Emmanual Episcopal Church

Keyser, WV

recital series recital

June 26, 2014

10:45 am

TAC Create 2014

L & N STEM Academy Knoxville, TN

Biomedical music strategies lecture

April 24, 2014

7:30 pm

Hartt School of Music

Bliss concert hall

Tales of the Neural Tango Lecture/recital

April 24, 2014

12:15 pm

Hartt School of Music

Milliard auditorium

Paranov hour Lecture

April 23, 2014

5:00 pm

Hartt School of Music

Bliss concert hall

Composers Seminar Lecture/recital

March 29, 2014

1:00 pm

Orange Grove Center


Biomedical Music techniques - Advanced Overview for the American Association for Multi-Sensory Environments Lecture

January 27th, 2014

7:00 pm

First Centenary Church


solo piano recital Recital

December 1, 2013

10:30 am

Unitarian Universalist Church


Biomedical Music techniques - suggestions for working with persons with special needs Lecture

September 14, 2013

1:00 pm

Nutrition World

Brainerd Rd. Chattanooga

Biomedical Music techniques - suggestions for working with children with special needs Lecture

August 23, 2013

7:30 pm

Roland Hayes Auditorum

UTC campus, Chattanooga TN

Music for Body and Soul - chamber music with musicians from the Chattanooga Symphony Orchestra and special guests recital

July 28, 2013

2:00 PM

First Baptist Church

Dunlap, TN

solo piano recital recital

May 23, 2013

12:00 PM

Briarwood Elementary School

Camden, TN

The Exceptional Learner in the Classroom lecture

April 18, 2013

7:00 PM

Alexian Brothers

Signal Mountain, TN

Solo piano recital recital

April 12, 2013

9:00 AM

Chattanooga Convention Center

Chattanooga, TN

TnMEA state conference - The Exceptional Learner in the Music Classroom lecture

February 14, 2013

1:40 PM

UT Chattanooga band room

Play Long and Prosper - a guide to musician's wellness lecture

February 3, 2013

3:00 pm

The Pennington Studio

703 Courtney Lane

Chattanooga, TN

solo piano recital recital



information to contact mtgic either by mail or email.

To contact MTGIC by mail, please send to the following USPS address:

Music Therapy Gateway in Communications, Inc.
PO Box 334
Signal Mountain, TN 37327


To contact via email, use the form below.

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