Date of Award
As a music therapist working in a psychiatric setting, I have the privilege of working with individuals of varying psychiatric diagnoses. There is never a dull moment and I am constantly learning about myself through my work and through the individuals that I work with.
Lyric analysis and song writing are two techniques that I frequently employ in my sessions. In order to find songs that fit the requirement of the objectives that my individuals are working on, it requires me to spend time researching the song lyrics as well as the musical components of the song. This process is often very time-consuming as it requires me to screen the lyrics and guitar chords to ensure accuracy. It is also challenging to find songs that meet the musical preference of all the patients within a group setting. Hence for my project I have chosen to compose original songs that focus on goals that are commonly addressed in music therapy sessions when working with the psychiatric population. Each song is written with a goal in mind and includes suggested questions to encourage discussions. Some songs also include additional activity worksheet or song writing activities to be used in conjunction with the song.
The purpose of lyric analysis is to encourage patients to verbalize and express their emotions. This is difficult to achieve if the music therapist does not have a therapeutic relationship with the patients. Therefore, it is crucial for the music therapist to build rapport with clients prior to using lyric analysis or song writing as an intervention. This can be achieved by incorporating a music listening activity, musical game or improvisation prior to the utilization of lyric analysis.
Tay, Sok Hwee, "Lyric Analysis: A Resource for Acute Psychiatric Music Therapists" (2015). Music Therapy Theses. 2.