The importance of the music

Today, I was reminded of the triangular relationship that the client, the therapist, and the music have while in a music therapy session. I have a client who tends to enter into the therapy space and sit down, apparently waiting for direction from me. This behavior isn’t unreasonable, but I’ve been encouraging this client to explore some of the instruments I leave available while we sing our hello song. Today, she moved to the ocean drum, and for the first time in several weeks I observed this client transitioning very fully into the sound that she made with the drum. I accompanied on the guitar, and soon found the ocean drum to complement the guitar, and vice versa. At times, we introduced vocalizations, but for more than 10 minutes, we simply used the music. I did hear a little voice in my head saying, Time to move on. Why aren’t you moving on? What if she gets bored with the ocean drum? Why don’t you stop playing before that can happen?, etc. However, I trusted (thank you for putting that word in my head, Lindsay) that the music can hold its own in this context. That is why I’m a music therapist, in fact.

Every so often I need to acknowledge more readily the importance of the music. Do you ever have that problem?

2 Replies to “The importance of the music”

  1. Yes, trusting the client and the music in that moment! I had a similar experience today of feeling the need to move onto another experience after several minutes of playing the same instrument. Isn’t it interesting how it can be so difficult to stay in the moment sometimes? We live in such a fast-paced world, it can be a challenge to slow down and be so present. Sounds like you shared some beautiful musical moments today.

  2. Yes, Lindsay, I was fighting with myself to a certain extent. Was I serving my client best by allowing her to play out, so to speak, for as long as she chose? (I believe the answer is “Yes.”) Or, would I have served her better by trying to move her in another direction? I’m glad I let myself take her lead. Thanks for the comment. 🙂

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