Academic journal article Canadian Journal of Music Therapy

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

Academic journal article Canadian Journal of Music Therapy

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

Article excerpt

Songwriting: Methods, Techniques and Clinical Applications for Music Therapy Clinicians, Educators, and Students. Edited by Felicity Baker and Tony Wigram. Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2005

I have always been interested in songwriting as therapy, but it wasn't until I read this book that I realized the true potential of songwriting. The book addresses many aspects of songwriting including the relevance to different populations, themes within populations, method of lyric composition, music creation techniques, and different song styles used.

The book includes an introduction by Tony Wigram. He begins by listing the many uses of songwriting in therapy, some of which include:

* assisting people to reflect on their past, present or future

* making contact with unconscious thought processes

* confronting difficulties within their intrapersonal experiences and their interpersonal relationships

* projection of feelings into music

* facilitating the development or redevelopment of functional skills including physical, cognitive or communication functions

* developing group cohesiveness, encouraging social interaction and providing group support

Following this, he briefly discusses the role and value of songs and the method of songwriting in therapy, emphasizing that the focus of the book is on songwriting with clients rather than for clients.

The body of the book consists of ten chapters authored by prominent music therapists including Amelia Oldfield, Emma Davies, Philippa Derrington, Toni Day, Randi Rolvsjord, Felicity Baker, Trygve Aasgaard, Emma O'Brien, Robert Krout, and Cheryl Dileo.

These authors discuss the use of songwriting in working with the following music therapy populations: child and family psychiatric patients, women who have been abused, survivors of childhood trauma, clients with traumatic brain injury, clients with mental health issues, children with disease, adult oncology patients, bereaved teenagers, and oncology and adult hospice patients from a multicultural perspective. …

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