I use a variety of both instrumental and pre-recorded music in my practice. However, some of my favorite moments as a music therapist didn’t involve music. I had a conversation with a woman who just wanted to visit. She was no longer able to speak but still needed human interaction. I also met with a man in short-term inpatient rehab. He had no interest in listening to me sing but a conversation about the woodworking of my instrument led to him telling me his fears about his health and ability to take care of his family. Improvisational music therapy may begin with a long process of discovery before the music making begins. In this busy holiday season, it might be more rejuvenating to just take some time to enjoy and contemplate silence. Music therapists not only know what music to use but how and when as well.
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