Monday, May 2, 2011

Music For Relaxation: A Flowchart for Decision-Making

There are many situations where a people or music therapy clients may want to use some music to help them relax.  I have often found that most people not familiar with music therapy interventions have a very simplistic view of using music to relax.  They may often say, "Oh, do you just put on some Mozart for people?"  It is important, however to determine the real purpose of the music and what kind of music would be appropriate given the conditions.

I have developed this working draft as a conceptual framework for the various considerations that must be made in order to properly use music as an aid to relaxation.  Perhaps this flowchart would best be used by a person in consultation with their music therapist?  I have tried to make it simple enough to be understood by the layperson, but I think guidance by a music therapist would be very helpful.  Since this is a work in progress, I encourage you to send me your thoughts and suggestions.  I have never seen anything like this, but hope that it will be helpful in framing the discussion.  Please feel free to download the chart and try it out.  Thanks for you input!      

Relaxation Flow Chart


  1. I really like the idea of using a flow chart for decision making and illustrating what one should consider in a certain situation. This is an excellent example of something that might accompany an in-service or training for people who use music to help others relax. You mention that it could be used in consultation with a music therapist, which makes sense if the user will be choosing music for another person.

    I actually thought of this flow chart while helping my husband select music for a yoga class he was teaching. Even for something as simple as choosing music for wellness in that setting, this would come in handy (especially since that is not a clinical setting). I have had many yoga teachers use very UNrelaxing music during savasana (the closing relaxation part).

    This would also be nice for someone who wanted to choose music to use in a self-guided relaxation. Many people just don't know where to start and this could be a nice guide.

    I think it is nicely constructed and accessible.

  2. I am so glad it is useful! Thank you so much for sharing your experience! Great ideas to use it for an in-service and what a wonderful transfer to using it for yoga! Thank you for reading and let me know what you think anytime!


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