Music Therapy offers a safe place to explore your voice, find validation and release in the containment of a song, and build greater mind/body connection.
“Music expresses that which cannot remain silent and that which cannot be put into words” – Victor Hugo
Have you ever found that a song speaks to a personal experience or emotion more fully than words alone? Can you remember a time while playing or listening to music, when you were able to let go of daily stressors and responsibilities and feel a sense of peace, connection, and contentment? Music activates our whole brain, helps us feel less alone, and offers another avenue for self-expression and emotional release.
Music therapy can:
- Relieve stress and anxiety
- Help with identification and expression of emotions
- Connect our minds to our bodies and help us better respond to and navigate “big” feelings
- Increase motivation
- Enhance communication and social skills
You don’t have to be a musician to benefit from the healing qualities of music. As a board-certified music therapist, I extend the invitation to engage with music – whether that’s listening, vocalizing, or feeling a rhythm in your body – to help move you closer to your goals. I make music-making fun and accessible for all and am happy to provide basic instruction on the piano, guitar, and ukulele. I understand that sharing our musical expressions can feel vulnerable and is rooted in cultural connection, so I always inquire about and respect your needs and preferences.
Frequently Asked Questions about Music Therapy
What happens in a music therapy session?
It depends! While music itself can be a universal language, it is also deeply personal and tied to cultural identity and memories, so the kind of music we engage with will depend on your unique preferences. In a session, this might look like talking about what kind of music you connect to and why or listening to preferred songs on a deeper and intentional level, noticing what comes up intellectually, physically and emotionally. We might make a playlist to help navigate a particular experience or move from one emotional state to another, or we might vocalize together to build a greater connection to a sense of peace and safety in your body. What we do with the music is always informed by your personal goals.
Does a music therapy session mean that we’re just doing music stuff the whole time?
It could, but more often than not space is left for verbally processing how the music (whether we’re listening, playing or even just calling to mind a powerful past musical experience) impacts you on all levels of mind, body and soul. This allows us to connect the music to themes that are coming up in talk therapy as well as determine what kind of music therapy intervention(s) will best help you reach your goals.
Do I have to be a musician or “musical” to benefit from music therapy?
You do not need to be a musician to benefit from incorporating music into your treatment, and no innate talent is necessary. If you’re human, you are musical, even if you’ve been told otherwise, struggle to keep a beat, or can’t carry a tune. In music therapy it’s much more about the process, rather than the product, of connecting to music. How does it feel to listen to your favorite song? What do you notice in your body when you hum or tap out a rhythm on a drum? These are the sort of things we’ll explore, whether you’ve mastered an instrument or the last time you did anything musical was in your elementary school chorus!
Who can benefit from music therapy?
Most people can benefit from music therapy in some way, whether this is occasionally incorporating it into the overall treatment process, or as a primary therapy. I still smile when I recall a client telling me as a new music therapist that they “know the secret to music therapy…you play music and we forget about our problems!” While this is not exactly the case, and I certainly don’t advocate avoidance, it’s true that we can easily become so problems-focused that we forget about the health, the good, that’s already there. Music therapy is inherently strengths-based in this way and calling upon our strengths can help us address the problems that are there with more confidence and resourcefulness.
I think music therapy might be really helpful for me. How do I get started?
Whether you’re ready to jam or just “music therapy curious,” I am happy to offer a free 15 minute phone or zoom consultation where we can explore if we might be a good fit and you’ll have a chance to ask any questions you have. If we decide to work together, we’ll find a time that works for both of us and begin meeting on a weekly basis.