What to expect from music therapy?
You and your therapist will meet for an hour-long therapy session (weekly or biweekly depending on your needs) just as in talk therapy. You and your therapist will work collaboratively to identify your therapeutic goals and your therapist will suggest musical experiences to support these goals that depend on your needs, level of comfort, and interest. A wide variety of musical instruments are provided by the therapist and are used in both active (creating) and receptive (listening) musical experiences which can include listening to a song or a piece of chosen music, writing or re-creating a song or piece of music, and improvisations or role-play scenarios. Like all therapy, this work happens in a validating, supportive, and non-judgemental environment which respects the individual’s pacing, abilities, and preferences.
These musical experiences can widen the individual’s perspective on their presenting issues, thus resulting in a deeper sense of possibility and hope. Music therapy offers the opportunity to discover new ways of feeling more harmonious in everyday life.
Music Therapy Techniques
Musical experiences often have a meditative component by slowing the heartrate and easing muscle tension. Music therapy provides a new context in which to cultivate a greater sense of mindfulness which contributes to stress reduction and a deeper sense of clarity.
Clients may listen to music and become the recipients of musical experiences. Your therapist will help you explore and verbalize any thoughts, sensations, feelings, or other types of awareness that may have been brought up by the piece of music. Insights gained through this process may resonate more deeply, since they are linked to experiences sensed in the body.
Online Therapy Considerations:
Thanks to the advent of recent technologies such as Zoom, online music therapy is now possible. Musical experiences that are available during in-person sessions may also be called upon during online sessions. In some cases, certain musical activities are even more conducive to the online setting.