The music we create in sessions is based upon many variables:

  • the client's musical and clinical goals
  • his present state of receptivity, energy, affect
  • the music therapist's available musical craft, repertoire and style

When we make an opening musical initiative, we are creating a basis or structure from which we can then elaborate, develop and change.

This structure may stem from any, or a combination of, the following elements:

  • rhythmic feel or groove
  • tonality (major, minor, modes, idioms)
  • melodic phrase
  • harmonic progression
  • style

This initial choice sets the stage for a musical path that follows predictably or with creative contrasts and surprise.

As the therapist improvises in a blues style, the client sings and plays the piano beautifully engaged in a flow of music. He seems to relate strongly to this style of music and even plays single tones related to the key of the music.