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What is Music Therapy?

Hey, how are you doing today? So today, I wanted to talk to you about what music therapy is. I get so many questions about that and wanted to add this little talk to my blog. So music therapy is a health science. We essentially conduct therapy with people and we use music and the arts in our work and how does that that can look a lot of different ways and so.

For some folks, we just talk. I'm skilled in talk therapy. And we can just talk and that's cool.

For other folks, we often will listen to music. Because, you know, we've all had that experience for listening to a song where you hear a song and say, "oh my god, that's exactly how I feel." Music is awesome that way. Musicians, you know, they have experiences similar to ours and they write about them and it just really can touch our soul so deeply. So that's one thing we could do.

We might also like sing a song that really has a lot of meaning to you. We might use singing in a way to work on things like voice modulation, like singing to help move your voice into the register which you want it to be. So it's more in line with your gender presentation or your gender identity or just because you want to sing and it makes you feel good or embodied. There's also many different ways that we use singing.

We may also similarly play instruments to songs that we know or improvise music together on instruments or with voice. Where we're just making up songs or making up music. It doesn't even have to be a song. And this can be used again, like we could be working on functional things like holding on to an instrument or maybe making, choices about what instrument to play or something like that, like more of those executive function things. But it's also a lot about communication between us using sound. And it can also be about expressing yourself.

The great thing about the arts is that it's really different than talking and especially around expression because It's includes the creative process and the creative processes when a person creates some sort of art. Like I like to write poetry. When I write a poem, I'm taking the experiences and the feelings that I have inside of myself and I'm, they're coming out of me into the poem and they go through a transformation in that creative process of like creating the poem. And they change, the experience in a way changes. And then we look at the thing that we've created or we listen to it and it can be like a permanent thing like a piece of paper where my poem is, or it can be just something ethereal that we, you know, I might sing something in the moment and it's expressing something and there's no recording of it and it just happened in the moment but I still hear myself singing it and I reprocess it back into myself. I bring it back into myself. And it's been changed because of the creative process. So we store it a little differently. It's kind of similar to like, you know that closet that's really full of stuff. And you go in there and you like put things away and put it in, you know, kind of organize it and suddenly there's a lot more room. Same sort of process within us like when we use a creative process we transform those difficult experiences and we can turn them. You know and then we and then we store them back inside ourselves changed and more organized.

Along with that, we might even write songs, that's something we can certainly do. I have lots of skills in songwriting and so you can bring your ideas and I'll bring the skills and we can write songs, we can record them and turn them into MP 4 files that you can have. And they'll sound great with the electronic music technologies that we have now, it's incredible what we can do.

Let's see what else we might do. We might listen to music and do art or poetry or movement or spoken word, there's all sorts of things we can do incorporating multiple types of creative arts at the same time. And again, it's that transformational experience of the creative process. It's also a way like if you're doing something like art of working on functional goals like if you have issues with like your hands that aren't working great, you know, we can work on those with, with that, making it more fun and more interesting than doing like physical therapy in addition to physical therapy.

We might do music-based relaxation using music to help to relax until. You know, just bring down our stress levels and also along lines with that is music facilitated meditations. I do those as well with folks.

So there's lots of options within music therapy of what we can do, but it's really bringing that creativity and the joy of music into the therapy process. You know, music can help to express our greatest joys and also our greatest sorrows. It's a beautiful, beautiful medium.

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