3 Ways I Use Songwriting in Music Therapy

Joyful Melodies Songwriting
Tweet: 3 Ways I Use Songwriting in Music Therapy http://ctt.ec/KEUa0+

I love songwriting!  Each music therapist receives special songwriting training in college, because it is such a powerful intervention to use in a variety of situations.  My favorite ways to use songwriting in music therapy are:

Songwriting to promote bonding between parents and their critically ill babies and give the parents a creative way to express their feelings

Part of my job in the pediatric hospital is to support the families of hospitalized children.  It can be so stressful to have a sick child, especially when the child is an infant who has never been home.  The process of writing a special song for their baby gives parents another way to express Continue reading

Session Story: Music Therapy to Promote Emotional Expression and Social Connection

Emotional Expression Joyful Melodies Music Therapy

I once received a referral for a 12 year old girl with cerebral palsy and developmental delay who was hospitalized but had no family at bedside. She was nonverbal, and I was told that she did not communicate. The nurse thought she “would enjoy some music.”

When I went into the room, I spoke to her the way I would to any other person. “Hi! My name is Lauren. I’m a music therapist. I brought my guitar. I’d love to play a song for you!”

Her eyes were open, and she looked at me. I played a simple hello song, using her name. “Hello, Kate! It’s nice to see you today!” I continued to talk to her as I transitioned to the next song. “It’s so nice to be spending time with you! Let’s do another song!”

She lay still and seemed attentive as I sang. I decided to offer her the chance to make music with me, and brought out some small percussion instruments. I showed her a colorful maraca, playing it for her and touching it gently to her arm so that she could feel it. I helped her open her contracted fingers to grasp the handle. Suddenly, she reached her arm up and shook the maraca. Continue reading