I have been a singer most of my life. I started taking voice lessons in the sixth grade and continued throughout college. Singing has been such a common occurrence of my life. I sing every day, not always well, but there is singing:)
Being a music therapist requires singing, we make many connections with our clients through music, but more specifically singing. Throughout my internship I have learned a lot about how the brain processes music. For example, I find it very interesting that an autistic child may not be able to process spoken directions but sung directions are processed easier in the brain. This shows one aspect of how singing is important within a therapeutic relationship.
Neurologic music therapy has a technique that I find applicable here as well, known as therapeutic singing. Michael Thaut explains what this is in his book, “Rhythm, Music, and the Brain” therapeutic singing is where singing is used to facilitate initiation, development, and articulation in speech and language. This is all accomplished with singing. You can see how important singing can be if so many different reactions are possible and beneficial.
So in conclusion, don’t forget to sing every now and then you never know who is listening.
I am a new intern here at The Music Therapy Center of CA., and my word is “Playing”. The definition is to be engaged in activity for enjoyment, playing an instrument, and recreation rather than a serious or practical purpose, and engaged in a game or activity for enjoyment!
Well I have been playing music since I was two years of age. Playing my grandmothers push button chord organ. I spent hours playing that instrument; it had push button chords on the left hand and about half a keyboard on the right. The instrument had matching songbooks to match. So playing the instrument was easy and I always sounded great.
I have had great success since playing music and now I want my client’s to have the same success, and enjoy playing music, while learning new life skills, whatever the goal may be. To see clients succeeding playing music and learning at the same time gives me great joy and makes getting up in the morning worth it. I never knew being a teacher and therapist could be so fulfilling and fun.
Until next time, enjoy life!
Evidence is a strong word; a person’s perception can change with the addition or subtraction of evidence.
Music therapy is no different. I have come across so many people who think and say, “oh music therapy… you must play music to calm people down.” Or “musical therapy… so you just play a lot of CD’s?” or even better “music therapy, you can get a degree in that? Are there even jobs?”
There are so many people who are not aware of the benefits and uses music can have and are not open to the evidence and support that is out there for music therapy. I am always having to explain my career choice as well as giving real life examples to strangers and new friends. I do not mind doing this though. When I tell people what it is that I do, I feel that I am validating my career choice and furthermore validating why I chose the field that I do. I love music and I love helping people and seeing the results, connections, and empowerment music can have on an individual I cannot imagine doing anything else.
In conclusion, while it may get annoying and tedious at times giving “elevator definitions” of music therapy, spreading awareness of our field is always great!