Principles of Clinical Composition II
Crafting Instrumental Experiences for Music Therapy
I. Introductory Readings
Composition can be a wonderful resource for expanding our clinical musicianship while enhancing the musical experiences we bring to clients in therapy. In Composition and Improvisation Resources for Music Therapists (Lee, C., Berends, A., & Pun, S.), the authors write:
The authors advocate for enhancing our musical awareness through the process of writing music, and then using those compositions as a platform for improvisation.
Crafting musical forms independent of sessions can provide music therapists the time to explore a wider range of musical options. In Defining Music Therapy (Third Edition), Kenneth Bruscia writes:
Bruscia envisions composition on a deeper level as well, as a metaphor for qualities of our emotional lives:
Incorporating these composed “musical narratives” into sessions can lead to important experiences for our clients.
In the introduction to More Themes for Therapy, Ritholz & Robbins (Eds.) highlight the benefits of a combined clinical and musical strategy in specially written compositions.
While some of you may not have composed music before, you will hopefully find the process of creating a composition a positive addition to your music therapy work, and enriching to you as a musician.