I just began thinking again about a topic that usually finds its way into my work as a clinician, clinical supervisor and educator: How do music therapists define health? Is health defined in and through the music, in musical terms? if so, what does that mean? How does that help define what we do as therapists? If speech therapists work to “fix” the speech and language of clients, and physical therapists work to “fix” the motoric abilities of clients, do we as music therapists work to “fix” the music of clients? if so, again, are we defining health within musical contexts? For example, when a client expands his ability to be related in music with his therapist, or develops his/her ability to intiate expressive components in his/her drumming (range of dynamics and tempo) while engaged in musical play with his/her therapist is this health? if so, how does health sound? how does pathology sound?
Would’nt it be interesting if there were musical profiles that identified specific client groups? Meaning that pathology could be identitifed through a person’s music. hmmm…again, what does health sound like?
Does the music therapist define health in ways outside of music? i.e. identifying health in terms of physical, social, behavioral and emotional realms that are outside of music? Is that possible when music and musical interaction embody all of the above?
And finally, in viewing many assessments, it appears that music is generally listed as one of several domains, including social; communication; physical; emotional; etc. Shouldnt music be the only domain? why? why not? I’m thinking that if health is defined outside of music, why is it (music) even assessed? AND/OR , if health is defined musically, why are other domains, outside of music, being assessed? AND, are we even qualified to do so…
I’m hoping to create some dialogue on this topic for those who are interested.
Thanks for reading!