#MusicTherapyBlogger Challenge: Music Therapy Handbook

26 May

This post is part of a 5 week #MusicTherapyBlogger challenge. Learn more and join the movement by visiting Serenade Designs!

Challenge #4: Pick a current research article or chapter of a book and reflect.

I recently received a hot-off-the-press copy of Dr. Barbara Wheeler’s newest publication, Music Therapy Handbook…and I’m so excited. I just can’t hide it. I love this book! (See photo below for more evidence). It covers a HUGE range of topics in chapters by top-notch professionals in our field. It’s a must-add to your music therapy library.

Photo on 5-26-15 at 11.32 AM #2

Me hugging this book because it’s my new BFF.

3 Handy Takeaways:

Part I: Overview and Issues

Use for: Presentations, Handouts, Websites, Advocacy Work

What’s it about? In Chapter 1, Dr. Wheeler provides a brief summary of music therapy as a profession, from clinical training and populations served all the way to recognition and public awareness. Other must-reads include chapters on music therapy and the brain, ethics, cultural diversity and assessment.

Part II: Orientation and Approaches

Use for: Studying for CBMT exam, Widening perspectives, Clinical Applications

What’s it about? Popular MT approaches covered range from psychodynamic, humanistic and developmental to NMT, community music therapy and music therapy in expressive arts. Think about your current population, and start framing your work in these various approaches. This section got me looking at my work through 10 different lenses—a great way to spice up session planning and in-the-moment creativity.

Part III: Clinical Applications

Use for: Studying for CBMT Exam, Clinical work, Research, Session planning

What’s it about? This section gets into the real nitty-gritty: music therapy with different populations. My favorite part about this book is that it goes far beyond what previous textbooks have covered to include a current snapshot of MT as a profession. New populations include addictions, domestic violence, survivors of trauma, NICU, and grief/loss. Each chapter really provides a thorough breakdown of suggested music therapy experiences with clinical examples. Some chapters I loved were “Music Therapy for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder” (because of its inclusion of relationship-based strategies) and “Music Therapy in the Schools” (it provides different models of service delivery and theoretical approaches).

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