Asses the musical abilities of each patient in order to faciliate successful musical responses. The MT-BC will determine instrumentation with appropriate musical elements and forms. Encourage good musical expression, such as controlling timbre, tempo, dynamics, dissonance and resolution, brief melodies, phrasing, and rhythms, etc. Discussion of purely musical factors can later lead to general issues in a counseling process. Musical experiences can not be perfectly translated into language, but may be used as an anology for non-musical thoughts and feelings. Mental and emotional states affected through music may kindle personal reflection and insight. Behaviors during improvisation my represent or teach appropriate non-musical behaviors, such as social interaction. Perhaps approproate behaviors can be transferred from music to non-music contexts (Thaut, 2008).


Rain Storm: A great improvisation application to use with group sessions, used primarily to help clients discuss their social roles.



Thaut, M. H. (2008). Group Music Psychotherapy in Correctional Psychiatry. In W. B. Davis, K. E. Gfeller, and M. H. Thaut (3rd ed.) An Introduction to Music Therapy: Theory and Practice (pp. 261-304). Silver Spring, MD: The American Music Therapy Association, Inc.

Further ReadingEdit


James E. Riley, MM, MT-BC

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