Music Therapists’ Preparation for Song Discussion: Meaning-Making With the Music
Music Therapy Perspectives
Songs are powerful catalysts and resources for change processes in music psychotherapy. Not surprisingly, music therapists often invite clients to listen to recordings of popular songs. A common song listening method is song discussion, in which a therapist selects a relevant song to explore with a client or group and facilitates the listening and subsequent verbal processing. In the relevant music therapy literature, lyrics assume a primary focus (i.e., lyric analysis), and yet, the music of a song, as integrated with its lyrics, impacts both client’s and therapist’s meaning-making and is therefore crucial to take into account. The purpose of the present investigative essay is to encourage music therapists to give attention to the music of recorded songs as they plan to facilitate song discussion. Herein I present a conceptualization of recorded popular songs and consider how one makes meaning from song listening processes. I urge therapists to prepare for song discussion through careful phenomenological listening and introspective interpretation. Finally, I describe procedures of a developing model for aural song analysis and interpretation based on Bruscia’s Improvisation Assessment Profiles (IAPs) with an abbreviated example viewed through multiple theoretical perspectives.
Copyright © 2019 American Music Therapy Association
Oxford University Press
songs, song discussion, meaning, music analysis, interpretation, lyric analysis
Hiller, James, "Music Therapists’ Preparation for Song Discussion: Meaning-Making With the Music" (2019). Music Faculty Publications. 19.