Music can help us pull emotions to process from our spirits.Tweet
Don’t be afraid to embrace those feelings to work on healing.
Don’t stay in that place. Use the music to help process and expel while being careful about getting stuck. Wallowing poisons the possibility for the process.
While talk therapy allows a person to speak about topics that may be difficult to discuss, lyric analysis introduces a novel and less-threatening approach to process emotions, thoughts, and experiences. A person receiving music therapy is encouraged to offer insight, alternative lyrics, and tangible tools or themes from lyrics that can apply to obstacles in their life and their treatment. We all have a song that we deeply connect to and appreciate—lyric analysis provides an opportunity for an individual to identify song lyrics that may correlate with their experience.
Improvisation Music Playing
Playing instruments can encourage emotional expression, socialization, and exploration of various therapeutic themes (i.e. conflict, communication, grief, etc.). For example, a group can create a “storm” by playing drums, rain sticks, thunder tubes, and other percussive instruments. The group can note areas of escalation and de-escalation in the improvisation, and the group can correlate the “highs and lows” of the storm to particular feelings they may have. This creates an opportunity for the group to discuss their feelings further.
Active Music Listening
Music can be utilized to regulate mood. Because of its rhythmic and repetitive aspects, music engages the neocortex of our brain, which calms us and reduces impulsivity. We often utilize music to match or alter our mood. While there are benefits to matching music to our mood, it can potentially keep us stuck in a depressive, angry or anxious state. To alter mood states, a music therapist can play music to match the current mood of the person and then slowly shift to a more positive or calm state.
Songwriting provides opportunities for expression in a positive and rewarding way. Anyone can create lyrics that reflect their own thoughts and experiences, and select instruments and sounds that best reflect the emotion behind the lyrics. This process can be very validating and can aid in building self-worth. This intervention can also instill a sense of pride, as someone listens to their own creation.