As I develop as a Music Therapist and add more into my ‘session toolkit’ I sometimes wonder if, as a profession, we have the tendency to over-analyse what makes the grade in terms of session content. I have noticed over my years of practise that many of my peers tend to question if something can be used in Music Therapy, or “is it therapeutic enough?”. An example of this is the wonderful Laura Al-Bandar’s blog post Music Listening: is this music therapy?. So my question to you, dear readers, is:
why are we asking permission from one another to try new techniques, technology, approaches and skills with our patients?
Surely if the needs of the patient are at the center of our work and the therapy aims are being worked towards in an authentic, sensitive and safe way, the methods we use are all valid and useful?
Maybe it’s music listening on Spotify. Maybe it’s music watching’ on YouTube. Or talking about music. Maybe sometimes there might not be any music at all (gasp!). Maybe it’s using adaptive technology such as switches to enable a patient to independently contribute on their terms, or apps that use music production, electronic instruments, or multi-sensory content to engage the user and appeal to those that access music making in this way.
As I continue to travel through the ever-developing landscape of Music Therapy, it is my belief that it is our responsibility as professionals to continue adapting to technological developments and to use them to aid our work. Because the advancements that technology is making is astounding!
So, if that’s the way we engage our patients in music making and the process of Music Therapy then it’s my belief that it absolutely needs to be explored in our sessions. I will end this post with a question to you: wouldn’t you like your practise to be limitless?