Written by Tess Vreeland
This year marks the first occurrence of World Music Therapy Week from April 10th-15th! Declared by the World Federation of Music Therapy, this week is meant to honor and highlight the hard work and accomplishments of music therapists around the world. In honor of this celebratory week, this will be the first post of this year’s AMTAS blog. The purpose of this blog is to connect music therapy students from across the country in sharing topics they are passionate about and experiences they have had. If you are interested in participating, submitting an idea, or writing a blog post, please fill out this form (Blog Interest Form) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
This introductory blog is an overview of music therapy settings, goals, and interventions that are commonly used. While music therapists in the U.S. are united on the basis of the Certification Board for Music Therapists (CBMT) credential and standards set by the AMTA, each music therapist has the liberty to address individualized client goals using a variety of music therapy approaches and methods. The unique approaches and styles between music therapists highlight the creativity and drive of this research-based profession.
Where can music therapists work & who do they work with?
The diversity of settings that music therapists work in is constantly growing and expanding as research continues in the field. Music therapists can work with people of all ages and abilities including, but not limited to: “Children, adolescents, adults, and the elderly with mental health needs, developmental and learning disabilities, Alzheimer's disease and other aging related conditions, substance abuse problems, brain injuries, physical disabilities, and acute and chronic pain, including mothers in labor” (AMTA, 2023). Various settings such as hospitals, schools, clinics, private practice, assisted living facilities, day programs, behavioral health centers, and more can be places of employment for music therapists.
What are some common goals of music therapy?
Because of the multi-sensory aspect of music therapy, it is an accessible and adaptable way to reach a variety of non-music therapeutic goals. Some of these goals from the AMTA website include promoting wellness, alleviating pain, managing stress, expressing feelings, enhancing memory, improving communication, promoting physical rehabilitation, and more (AMTA, 2005). Ongoing assessment and reassessment of goals is a vital part of the music therapy process that facilitates growth in different goals depending on the needs of the specific individual.
What does a music therapy intervention look like?
There are four general categories that music therapy interventions fall into. These are receptive, recreative, improvisational, and compositional music therapy interventions. Receptive interventions focus on listening and experiencing music, while recreative uses pre-composed music in various ways to facilitate different goals. Improvisational interventions use “spontaneous music making using simple instruments, body percussion, or the voice” (Parkinson, 2020). Compositional interventions are structured music-creating experiences for the individual exploring different expression goals. Music therapy interventions are adapted to the current goals, preferences, and client state.
Advocacy is such an important piece of being a music therapist, and world music therapy week is a global opportunity to spread information about this compassionate profession. For more information & advocacy resources, please check out the sources the information for this blog was found below! Happy world music therapy week, and thank you to music therapists and music therapy students everywhere!
American Music Therapy Association (2023).
Parkinson, M. (2020, July 15). The four types of interventions in music therapy. Wellington Music Therapy. https://wellingtonmusictherapyservices.com/the-four-types-of-interventions-in-music-therapy/
World Federation for Music Therapy. (2023). https://www.wfmt.info/
PLAYLIST SATURDAY: GET DOWN WITH COUNTRY
1/10/2021 0 Comments
Written by Anna Bocanegra
[Disclaimer: These posts are meant to build repertoire and be a stepping stone in how to use these songs within a session. If you have used this song differently or have any other ideas for songs and suggestions use the comment section to create a discussion.]
Deciding to choose the Country genre to be my first post of this series wasn't my idea, to say the least, but for someone who disliked country for quite some time, it was best to start with something I knew hardly anything about. If Country music isn't your cup of tea, this post is definitely going to be a great resource for you to start off with and broaden your horizons!
As a Rising Star at Cracker Barrel, Country music is always blasting. As a Music Therapy student, I listen and observe the music closely, trying to understand how to use these songs in a session should Country music be a preference for future clientele. Though small, these few songs gathered from a Cracker Barrel playlist were deemed great use to add to a playlist and begin learning some Country tunes.
Some Things I Want to Sing About by The Grascals
Originally written and recorded by The Osborne Brothers (another artist you should definitely give listen to), this song has the potential for lyric substitution to get a client engaged in your session by writing about memories, things they like, or even about what is happening in their life. The instrumentation isn't on the "happy" or "sad" side of its F Major key and can definitely be on the slower side if need be.
Give it a listen on Spotify!
If I Die Young by The Band Perry
The Band Perry created a lovely and somber song about death. Death is a major part of human life for the living with pondering thoughts, played-out scenarios, and questions. This song could be used for grieving a client's loss, existentialism, and learning to come to terms with death.
Give it a listen on Spotify!
Buy Me A Boat by Chris Janson
This is one catchy song especially when you get to the chorus. With a catchy chorus comes a great opportunity for small-task sequencing for your client to use for everyday tasks or problem-solving. Just remember to fit your words into a proper duration of the original chorus for it to make sense musically!
Give it a listen on Spotify!
Now that you've got a couple of different songs to listen to and experiment with, why not broaden your horizons by searching for more Country on Spotify or any other apps you using for music.
What are some Country songs you've used in session or how else can these songs be used?
Comment down below!
Hello AMTAS, my name is Mercedes Shook and I am your secretary for the 2024 year! The purpose of this blog is to provide updates on the AMTAS region, give helpful tips and tricks for music therapy students, share meaningful experiences, and promote collaboration with all music therapy students across America! If you have any ideas or questions regarding this blog please don’t hesitate to reach out via email.
Interested in writing a post? Click here to submit the Blog Interest Form.