How to Use How Great Thou Art in Music Therapy

How to Use How Great Thou Art in Music Therapy

Music has the capacity to lift us up or bring us down, make us laugh or cry, pump up or calm us down. Not only that, but it has been linked with lower blood pressure and improved heart health as well as decreasing cancer tumor growth – yet so many people remain reluctant to embrace its healing powers? Why then do so many still resisted embracing their innermost desires?

Utilizing how great thou art in music therapy not only enhances the therapeutic process, but it can also be a successful means of relieving stress and elevating mood. Here are some ways you can incorporate this thought-provoking phrase:

When working with children or adults, having an instrument such as a guitar, ukulele, keyboard or harp can really add some life and spice up a session. They also allow the therapist to sing along or play a melody for everyone’s comfort – providing a soothing atmosphere in the group setting.

Visual imagery can be an effective tool for creating a calming atmosphere. In music therapy, the therapist may play soothing music while encouraging clients to envision themselves in an idyllic location. However, this exercise may cause some distress for some individuals, so it should only be done with those who have established rapport with the therapist and are certain that it will benefit their therapy goals.

DIY instruments or “do it yourself” projects are an excellent way to foster creativity in your clients. This project can easily be accomplished using common household items or found objects, making it a perfect segue into songwriting activities.

This activity brings together storytelling and music to promote creative expression and emotional release. The group takes turns narrating a story or line, singing along with the therapist as support. This activity can be especially helpful for clients feeling anxious or agitated and can be tailored to meet the needs of any age group.

Family therapy can benefit from mapping out the members of a family. Utilizing beat making and recording software such as garageband, clients can create loops or live sounds for each family member that reflect their role. The therapist then mixes the track and shares insights with clients. Once complete, the song may be stored away until further adjustments can be made over time to reflect changes in the family system if therapy is long term.

This exercise involves a music therapist playing or listening to a song while gently encouraging the client to imagine themselves in soothing environments, such as their home. This calming activity may be especially helpful for children or adults with sensory issues who struggle with auditory processing.

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