Songwriting: Methods, Techniques and Clinical Applications for Music Therapy Clinicians, Educators, and Students

Songwriting: Methods, Techniques and Clinical Applications for Music Therapy Clinicians, Educators, and Students

Songwriting: Methods, Techniques and Clinical Applications for Music Therapy Clinicians, Educators, and Students

Songwriting: Methods, Techniques and Clinical Applications for Music Therapy Clinicians, Educators, and Students

Synopsis

"This book describes the effective use of songwriting in music therapy with a variety of client populations, from children with cancer and adolescents in secondary school to people with traumatic brain injury and mental health problems. This practical book will prove indispensable to students, clinical therapists, music therapists, educators, teachers and musicians." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Excerpt

Even Ruud

Music therapists have always recognized songs and singing as one of their main approaches within their work. Along with improvisation, listening, composing and performing, songs have had their natural place in the music therapist's tool-box as a way of expressing and performing aspects of oneself as part of a process towards better health. But what about songwriting? Can we say that the actual making of the song by the client or the process of co-creating a song together with the therapist has gained full recognition among the repertoire of methods in music therapy?

I can only answer for myself that after reading this book on songwriting, I must declare my own ignorance of what seems to stand out as one of the most powerful methods in music therapy. In hindsight, at the time when I was active as a music therapist, I had not fully recognized my own attempts at songwriting as songwriting, and instead labelled it 'free improvisation' or 'musical plays'. Regardless of whatever theoretical or clinical tradition you work in, this book will enable you to see new possibilities in many music therapy situations. As a method, songwriting transcends the many theoretical traditions that feed the work of music therapists. Both cognitive and psychodynamic discourses can operate well within this medium, just as environmental and resource-oriented perspectives inform and expand the possibilities of actions afforded by the production of songs.

From childhood on, we all relate to songs and songwriting in a personal way. Children improvise with their voices, create mock-versions of familiar songs, and engage in a host of changing forms of identifications with songs and singers on their way to adulthood. The song text often provides an early experience of how to symbolically represent the world, and of how we can use metaphors to understand the meaning of what is happening to us.

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