Creative Arts

Posted: June 14, 2011 in Music Therapy, Techniques

I have a client who really likes to draw.  He draws trains, and I’ve seen some of his drawings.  They are really REALLY good.  I think he might copy some pictures, but his lines are really straight, he uses perspective, and he knows how to shade with a pencil.  It’s pretty cool.  It’s also gotten me thinking about how to incorporate it into our music therapy sessions.

When I was in college, our faculty was very into creative arts therapy.  Essentially, this merges several different artistic disciplines to create new therapeutic modalities.  So, you put art, music, drama, poetry, and dance together to form this hybrid therapy that’s all about exploring your inner creative self.  We had a creative arts collective, and they put together a book we used in one of my improvisation classes.  It was all very interesting, I just don’t remember much about it.

I am intrigued by the idea of combining different therapies to work towards a creative goal.  I think collaboration is very important to anything being successful.  Even now, I use a number of techniques I learned as an occupational therapy aide.  I also use some tricks I’ve picked up from hanging around speech therapists.  So, it makes sense that I be able to use elements of other arts as a means to reach out to certain clients.

So, here’s what I’ve been trying recently.  With my artist client, I’ve been trying to combine his art with the relaxation music we’ve been working with.  Left to his own devices, he would only draw trains, so I’m trying to make suggestions about different scenes he can draw that kind of evoke the music.  So far, I’m not sure that he’s getting the connection, but he says he’s enjoying it, so we’ll keep plugging away at it.  I have another client who really loves Dr. Seuss, so I started trying to incorporate rhythmic readings into our sessions.  He performed Fox in Socks entirely by memory one night, which was great.  We’ve recently been working through some Shel Silverstein.  He sometimes has problems focusing, so this has been a great way to direct his attention towards a goal.

I’m looking for more stuff to do along these lines.  Music therapy is one thing, but it can be enhanced by letting other people add their own interests to the experience.  Thanks for reading!

  1. Dad says:

    Can’t resist – that’s good stuff. There’s something in there about rhyming – surely why traditional teaching used nursery rhymes. My generation was still learning poetry, but less than my parents’. Rhyme must be a way to organize thinking internally – and of course, the classic sermon with “three points and a poem” MIGHT have been a way the preacher could be sure to remember the ending!

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