If we assume that MT interventions can be prescribed, are we saying that all clients respond to certain musics in the same way? Is that even possible? Do we all really connect to the same music in similar ways? How can this be? Is my reality your reality? Can you find two IPods on the planet that are loaded with the same music??

When visiting a music store, when we actually left the house to buy music (and music buying was social activity), I remember how the stores would categorize music by styles or genres: Aisle 1, Pop music; aisle 2, Rock; aisle 3 Jazz music; aisle 4, Classical music; aisle 5, Rap Music; and aisle 6, Relaxation music- what’s wrong with these categories? Well, what first strikes me is that they are indeed styles of music, except for one…”Relaxation” music. Relaxation isn’t a style, it’s some kind of cause-and-effect based on listening to music. So, in other words, when you listen to this (relaxation) music, you should become relaxed. This is a huge problem for me- being that the very music that is classified as being relaxing has the opposite impact on/in me. In fact, when I listen to “relaxing” music, it sometimes makes me anxious, bored, and I do anything I can to remove myself from it. This is not to say that others don’t feel or become relaxed when listening to this music. I’m only suggesting that music may impact humans in different ways based on their emotional and personal make up- the very make up that makes them (us) unique as people. Do we experience things the same? Is my reality the same as yours? Doesn’t this relate to musical experiences? AND, if we can remove ourselves from this musical experience and say, “when you feel this way, play this…,” why then even have live musical experiences in music therapy? Just use CDs all day, yes?

How does the above example relate to music therapy? Or, does it all? How do we match musical experiences to client needs? Is there a special music that “goes with” autism? Is there a special music “goes with” cancer care? And so on…can it all really be that “simple”?

So, how do we “match” musical experiences with/to/for clients? Are we “matching” musical experiences for clients: Based on pathology (core deficits of that pathology)? Based on the client, as he/she behaves (how they look and act; behaviors)? Based on the client’s needs (how pathology impacts his/her quality of life)? Based on our musical likes and dislikes (whose needs are we meeting)? Based on the why’s and how’s of the musical interactions (focus on here-and-now interactions)? Or, Based on past evidence, that has nothing to do with this particular person (can we remove the person from their unique cognitive, social, musical, etc. abilities?)

I think that the above questions apply to all music therapy methodologies and approaches. Thoughts???

Thanks for reading and I look forward to your ideas and thoughts.

Best,

John