What is Music?

  • Laura Teutsch
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A few weeks ago, I created a series of posts on Facebook that described what music can be within the context of music therapy. I’ve gathered those posts here in my very first blog post!

Of course, I was not able to cover all of the things that music is, so if you can think of any more or if you answers to any of the questions in this post, I would love to hear from you!

Music is... your voice

In music therapy, a client can express themselves without having to find the words. Perhaps someone has already said the words for them in a song that can be listened to, or perhaps improvisation allows them to put all their emotions out in the open, or perhaps writing a song allows them to share their feelings in a deeper way. How do you use music when you can’t find the right words to express yourself?

Music is... a friend

In music therapy, a client may feel that music is the only friend they have. Many musicians sing about real life struggles and this can help clients to understand that they are not alone. Music understands, music can empathize, music will always be there for you. What music do you listen to when you feel isolated and in need of a friend?

Music is... a social engagement

In music therapy, there is always, by definition, a therapist and at least one client. This suggests that music in music therapy is social. Whether music is being created together or listened to together, it is always done in the presence of another person. Music therefore assists in the bridging of gaps, the forming of relationships, the establishment of trust and respect. Is there someone with whom you enjoy the socializing aspect of music?

Music is... a work of art

In music therapy there is no judgment passed on the quality of the music that is being produced. Whether the music sounds “good” is of little importance, what matters is that a fully produced piece of art is being created. The client creates a string of sounds that has never been created before. Even if they are singing their favourite song, their voice is not the same as the voice of the original artist. The client’s music is an original never-before-heard work of art. Are you able to let go of personal judgment and think of your music as a work of art instead?

Music is... powerful

In music therapy, we believe in the power of music, and we understand that that means we must use it safely. A music therapist promises to use music safely and ethically, continually evaluating the treatment plan to ensure the safety of the client. Music therapists use their training and experience to help clients reach their goals through the power of music. How have you experienced the power of music?