Business & Finance

Music Therapist Joins Staff of Peace of Mind Counseling and Wellness Center

Adam Makofske Credits: Marc Santos
Check back with TAPinto for profile on Sarah Brown who uses sand as a medium for communication, "clients express themselves in ways they may find difficult to do in traditional talk therapy." Credits: Bobbie Peer
Sarah Brown and Kris Silvestry of Peace of MInd Counseling and Wellness Center. Credits: Bobbie Peer
Music Therapist Adam Makofske, a performer and teacher, who is the latest person to join the staff of Peace of Mind Counseling and Wellness Center in Berkeley Heights. Credits: Bobbie Peer

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - The oft misquoted line, "Music has charms to soothe the savage breast," from the poem "The Mourning Bride," by William Congreve, could very well be the mantra of music therapists. Music is universal and allows you to access some of your deepest emotions -- ones you may not be aware you are experiencing.

Just ask Music Therapist Adam Makofske, a performer and teacher, who is the latest person to join the staff of Peace of Mind Counseling and Wellness Center in Berkeley Heights. Makofske, who has been playing guitar for 30 years and teaching privately and at SUNY New Platz and other locations for more than 20, is a board certified Music Therapist. He also leads his own jazz quartet/trio and continues to perform in the tri-state area, as well as work with clients. He has worked in the music therapy field at Rutgers UBHC in Newark, YWCA Pals Program in Kenilworth, NJ, and Family Connections DREAMS program in East Orange. You might say music is his life.

Ask him about music therapy and he'll tell you "it has widespread benefits," which can help virtually everyone, even those who think they don't like music. He's worked with many different types of people, domestic violence victims, children with cerebral palsy, children on the autism spectrum, veterans, senior citizens, adult psych patients in an acute setting, and stroke patients. The results are often surprising, especially for those who think that they aren't musical. They may not be able to "play an instrument, but they have rhythm, can dance, sing or rap. I've seen and heard people do things that I believe even surprised themselves," he said.

Sign Up for E-News

Music is the medium through which the therapist and the client connect, he said. The methods used in a music therapy intervention varies -- improvisation, using percussion instruments or some "combination of percussion instruments, guitar, and piano (and sometimes voice)," he said. The combination approach "is a great way to communicate non-verbally and is effective in groups as well as one-on-one, Makofske said.

Other techniques he has employed successfully include writing music with the client or clients, then playing it together; adapting the music or words to a familiar song; moving or dancing to music and playing a familiar song and discussing what the client or clients do and don't like about the lyrics . The music itself "acts as a springboard for further discussion. You are getting there through music, but that's not the end goal. It is really about connecting to them, having them talk," Makofske said. 

While they are talking, the therapist learns about their client and they can then focus on helping the client develop coping skills and finding a way for the client to relax and unwind so they can learn various life skills that will make their lives easier to navigate.

Makofske said he adapts his choice of music as well as the type of intervention he will use to match the needs and tastes of his clients. If he is working in a nursing home, he might choose something from the "American Songbook," or some Jazz, but if he's working with a teen or someone in their 20s, he might choose more current music, such as rap. He might even combine therapies by having a client listen to music and draw something at the same time. 

Whatever the choice of music, "I have seen the power of music and music therapy and have seen many clients who told me how much it helped them and how much it meant to them," he said, adding, "It's rewarding to say the least."

Makofske can be found at Peace of Mind counseling and Wellness Center, 395 Springfield Ave. in Berkeley Heights. To learn more about Makofske or to make an appointment, contact the office by calling 908-363-5535. The office is open seven days a week. Visit

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

Berkeley Heights

Sleep out at Covenant House

June 18, 2018

I can enjoy the same movies over and over like it were the first time to see them.  My kids roll their eyes at this.  Well, many unimaginable things happen as you become a certain age, and you tend to learn to accept those things graciously as gift.   But I remember the movie “The Blind Side.”  Until I saw that movie, I didn’t know homeless children ...

Local at-risk youth celebrate year of achievements at Community Access Unlimited

June 23, 2018

Community Access Unlimited (CAU) last night celebrated the achievements of a number of at-risk youth who are members of the agency's Transitional Opportunities Program (TOP). Each of these youth are within New Jersey's child services system and faced a number of life challenges before coming to CAU and TOP and since then have made significant progress in plotting a brighter future with ...

Union County Residents Can “Recycle Right” without Plastic Bags

The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders reminds residents that plastic bags and other excluded items cannot be recycled through their local curbside pick-up programs.

“Union County residents have a good recycling rate compared to other counties in our state, and we want to improve on this record and set a high bar,” said Freeholder Chairman Sergio Granados. “Every ...

Seth Meyers Attends Summit Medical Group Foundation's (SMGF) 5th Annual Gala & Auction

Seth Meyers, host of NBC’s Late Night with Seth Meyers, was recently a special guest at Summit Medical Group Foundation's (SMGF) 5th Annual Gala & Auction where a record-breaking $1.35 million was raised. 

SMGF’s Annual Gala & Auction raises critical funds to ensure the Foundation can continue to offer access to high-quality ...

What Is HIIT and Why All The Buzz?

HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training. Many people, especially those with busy schedules, love HITT because they can get maximum benefits in a short period of time! According to Shape Magazine, “Research shows you can achieve more progress in a mere 15 minutes of interval training (done three times a week) than the girl jogging on the treadmill for an hour. And according to ...

Missing in North Plainfield: Have You Seen Angel?

June 21, 2018

NORTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - Have you seen Angel?

Angel is a seven year old black and white Husky last seen near Westervelt Ave. and Manning Ave. on June 16. Her family says she is very friendly. 

If found, call Andrea at  888-466-3242.


Linden Man Arrested After Explosion in Cranford

June 21, 2018

CRANFORD - On Wednesday, June 20, 2018 at 7:06 p.m. the Cranford Police Department received
information that an explosion was heard in the area of Raritan Road and Summit Terrace. Through
a joint investigation with the Union County Prosecutor's Office and Linden Police Department, the
Cranford Police Department Detective Bureau identified a suspect through surveillance video ...

Upcoming Events


Sat, June 23, 7:00 AM

Summit YMCA, Summit

Pet Supply Drive at the Summit YMCA to Benefit ...

Giving Back


Sun, June 24, 7:00 AM

Summit YMCA, Summit

Pet Supply Drive at the Summit YMCA to Benefit ...

Giving Back


Sun, June 24, 10:00 AM

eMedical Urgent Care, Berkeley Heights

eMedical Urgent Care to Hold Free Teddy Care ...

Arts & Entertainment Health & Wellness


Mon, June 25

Summit YMCA, Summit

June 2018 College Tour



Mon, June 25, 7:00 AM

Summit YMCA, Summit

Pet Supply Drive at the Summit YMCA to Benefit ...

Giving Back

Mon, June 25, 9:00 AM


Kids' Critter Camp


What's Hot and What's Not

Summer is a great time to take a step back, sip a cool beverage, and take a look at what’s going on in the world of college admissions.  Departments use the summer to evaluate how their year went and plan on any changes they want to make for the fall.  Did they over-enroll? Under-enroll?  What application materials were useful to them?  Which were redundant or time ...

Cool Ways to Save Money This Summer

As the summer temperatures rise, home cooling costs rise as well. But there are ways to help save money without sweating the heat:

To increase your cooling system’s efficiency by as much as 20%, get it checked out for summer.  A technician will clean the condenser, make sure you have the optimal amount of refrigerant, and ensure the airflow over the coil is ...