Selected Program Offerings
The therapist uses verbal techniques enhanced and supported by the music such as guided imagery, progressive muscle relation, deep breathing, and autogenic training. Music interventions such as chanting relaxing phrases, improvising relaxing music, art making, and movement are incorporated to increase feelings of relaxation in the moment and to promote and develop skills participants may use on their own. Group members are given opportunities to share about sources of stress and to evaluate and discuss their experience of the interventions. Together, the participants and the therapist develop a program made specifically for them.
The choir or band members develop a name, choose repertoire of meaningful songs, create arrangements, and discuss their experience of music making together. They may decide on having a concert and help promote the concert by inviting friends, family, and community members with the support of the music therapist. Rehearsals are collaborative and supportive. Participants develop increased sense of community and empowerment while enjoying the benefits of singing such as increased lung capacity, relaxation, and feelings of joy.
Songwriting can be done in many ways and with people off all abilities. Sometimes songs are written from scratch and with therapist support. Other times the therapist brings in options of partially written songs with space for group members to make their own lyrics and musical choices. Song parodies allow the group to use familiar songs and substitute some or all of the lyrics. Once the song is written, the group may perform it together, listen to the therapist perform it, or even record it together. Using a laptop for recording also allows the group to use effects and prerecorded tracks. Participants may explore a blending of cultures by utilizing a variety of musical styles and language. Although it may seem daunting, with the therapist’s support, the group can work together to wrote meaningful and beautiful songs. By expressing their experiences through songwriting, participants are able to feel supported by each other, and to gain insight. Participants in songwriting groups often report feeling empowered and an increased sense of community.
Loss and Grief Group
Participants explore and process their experience of grief through song writing, song discussion (listening and analyzing familiar or new music), dedicating songs to loved ones or to the experience of loss of role, function, homes, relationships, etc., and a variety of interventions to develop coping skills, better understand the grieving process, and exchange support.
Music Therapy Support Group
Participants are invited to share about struggles in a safe and supportive space verbally and through music making, sharing songs, and song writing. While the group members explore shared struggles they also explore and develop coping skills. They exchange support by playing and singing together, exchanging songs, and creating art together.
Participants explore, express, and connect to their spirituality as it relates to healing and wellness. The group often starts with a verbal check-in including the question, “What is a belief that is important to you?” The group explores and supports their collective beliefs through song writing, improvisation, and via singing, playing, and listening to familiar secular and/or religious or spiritual songs.