Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Book Review: Therapeutic Uses of Music with Older Adults, by Alicia Ann Clair

Alicia Ann Clair, Ph.D., MT-BC wrote this foundational book while she was a professor at the University of Kansas. I have always valued this book as a good source for non music therapists who want to use music in their lives or for those they care for. Although the setting for Dr. Clair's discussion is based around using music therapeutically with older adults, the principles of music she outlines can be applied in many other settings.

The first chapter of the book outlines the elements of music that are useful for therapeutic intervention. Dr. Clair identifies concepts such as music used for a focus of attention and music used to structure events and activities over time. She expertly defines the ways in which music can facilitate therapy without becoming overly technical.

For those not working with older adults, a highlight of the book is the chapter discussing stress-management. Dr. Clair discusses strategies for relaxation, including progressive muscle relaxation, jaw-drop technique and guided imagery. She adeptly explains how music may be used to facilitate these techniques as well as the elements of music that are useful in relaxation protocols.

I highly recommend this book to everyone interested in how music works in our lives. We all have an idea about how music effects our lives, but Dr. Clair breaks down the parts of music in a well thought out discussion using descriptions that are easy to read and understand. This book is an excellent example of how "music makes sense" in our lives and in our world.

(Amazon.com: Therapeutic Uses of Music with Older Adults)

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