5 Music Therapy Group Activities

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5 Music Therapy Group Activities

Music therapy group activities provide clients with an outlet to express themselves and develop a deeper connection to their bodies. These techniques aid in improving emotional expression while relieving stress, anxiety, and depression symptoms.

Music improvisation is an invaluable music therapy group activity, as it promotes emotional and cognitive flexibility. The therapist provides simple instructions and guides the improviser through a musical experience; they may give basic chords or encourage them to create melodies or harmonize.

Improvisation can range from working from a basic chord structure to more intricate tasks such as creating and singing an original song. Music provides patients with a fun and rewarding outlet to express their emotions through music.

Clients rely on their emotions to regulate and control behavior, so using music as an outlet for exploring those feelings can promote greater emotional expression, improved social skills, and an increased motivation to take part in music therapy treatments.

Drumming is an emotionally expressive activity that promotes interpersonal connection and group cohesion. It may also serve as a motivating exercise for clients suffering from depressive symptoms or hyperactive adolescents.

Rhythmic Drumming is an ideal opening activity for music therapy sessions and suitable for all ages. The therapist can start the session with either a recording or live performance of a rhythmic song and invite all participants to drum along. After everyone has joined in on the rhythmic experience, the therapist can lead a discussion about how it reflects their own feelings and experiences.

Harmful Self Talk can be an obstacle to improving one’s self-esteem and reaching goals. In this music therapy group activity, the therapist challenges clients to shift their thoughts and behaviors by writing a song that incorporates more empowering statements. These lyrics may simply reflect what clients tell themselves or they could be transformed into a rhyming or lyrical pattern for greater effect.

A song about healthy vs. unhealthy relationships can be a useful tool for recognizing destructive patterns and encouraging clients to recognize their strengths in new relationships. The therapist may provide handouts outlining the characteristics of both types of relationships for clients to read or listen to if desired, then introduce the lyrics through recording or live performance of the song.

If a client struggles to express their emotions verbally, writing them down on paper or in a journal can help them process those feelings and identify strengths and weaknesses more clearly.

Songs with a theme of control and empowerment can be powerful tools in helping individuals gain control over their lives. A therapist might start by offering the group songs such as “If I Ruled the World” by Nas or “It’s Hard Being a Champion” by The Black Eyed Peas that demonstrate these concepts.

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