What is music therapy ?
"In terms of a form of scientifically recognised creative and artistic therapy, music therapy uses all forms of music and sounds as support for the perception, expression, communication and behaviour of a person...
"… Music allows the inconceivable to materialise, the unheard to be made perceptible, and the inexpressible to be expressed. Through their musical performances, psychological processes take shape, become understandable and can be modified and reorganised experimentally within the secure framework of therapy. What has been tested and reorganised over the course of therapy can then be adapted to fit daily life …"
Extracts from the website of the Swiss Professional Association of Music Therapy.
For whom is it available?
Music therapy is aimed at children, adolescents and adults and requires no musical training or special musical aptitude.
It can be used in the following areas
Contraindications to music therapy are practically non-existent and self-evident, except perhaps for amusia (a genetic or neurological anomaly whereby music has no meaning and is perceived as an unpleasant noise).
Music therapy sessions take place individually or in groups. They are reimbursed by some complementary health insurance companies. Contact the respective health insurance company directly for more information.
Treatments vary in length and are determined by agreement with the person and possibly with their treating physician.
What happens in a music therapy session?
The music therapist employs various different techniques, depending on the needs of the person and their problems:
It may be suggested to the person that they should express their current state or "listen to" how a situation or emotion "sounds" to them and "translate" this by playing easily accessible musical instruments or using their voice. The aim is not to create a musical work, but instead to create "raw" music through sound to express their own feelings, while being supported musically by the music therapist, which allows them to perceive the situation differently; expressed emotion. This approach is generally known as "active music therapy" ;
It may be suggested to the person that they should express their feelings by listening to music extracts chosen by the music therapist. The music listened to becomes a space for projection, a support for self expression. This approach is generally known as "receptive music therapy".
These techniques can be combined during music therapy with other complementary approaches such as the therapeutic use of the voice, creation of songs or sound massage...
As a music therapist geared towards this complex human instrument which is the voice, I effectively often propose it as a way of privileged access to self expression and self discovery, particularly through voice workshops.