Saturday, September 5, 2009

Broadcast Live! Recorded for Future Programming.

Music therapists can often get into a lively discussion about the appropriate use of recorded music in therapy. I know many music therapists who prefer only to use live music when working with clients. Live music is powerful because of the subtle changes in pitch, dynamics, tempo, etc., that make a truly unique product each time a song is played or sung. Live music can also be rapidly changed to fit a situation to meet a client's needs. The music therapist also offers live music because that is usually one of the special tools they bring to a situation that at teacher or health care provider cannot provide. In general, this is a good standard, but I think there are compelling situations where recorded music may be used very successfully.

One of the most important ways recorded music can facilitate therapy is to provide musical accompaniment so that the therapist can have hands free of playing the guitar or piano. I like to provide a recorded song that has accompanying motions so that I can use some hand over hand prompts with certain clients to help them do the motions. This is also the case in dancing or movement to music activities where the therapist needs to demonstrate the gross motor movements. I often use recorded music to facilitate relaxation. Modeling deep breathing, stretching and relaxed posture are much easier when I am not playing the piano or guitar!

Another great possibility for recorded music is using it for lyric analysis. It is possible to play a song on the guitar and discuss the lyrics, but sometimes it is more effective to listen to the original song and then have a discussion about what the song is saying. The recorded music usually has more emotional connection with individuals and prompts more verbal participation. I have successfully used music in this way to facilitate art activities where the music and lyrics inspire drawing and coloring in a group setting.

Overall, I think recorded music should be used sparingly by music therapists. If recorded music will help meet the needs of the client, then its use is warranted. The therapeutic application of recorded music is preceded by careful selection of the music to present the proper tempo, style, lyric content, timbre and focus for a specific activity. The knowledgeable music therapist uses their musical and therapeutic expertise in choosing the music and implementing its use for a stated objective.

These thoughts brought to you live by Music Makes Sense!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Subscribe by email or obtain RSS feed by clicking here:

Amazon orders originating with clicks on any Amazon product link on the site help to benefit Music Makes Sense and its ongoing contribution to the world of music and music therapy. Thank You so much!
Related Posts with Thumbnails