Music therapists use a wide variety of techniques in their practice to enhance the quality of life. These may include discussing music and songs, analyzing lyrics, composing music, and songwriting. Music and songs serve as vehicles for verbal and non-verbal communication, as well as self-expression, during music therapy sessions. Creating songs, listening to music and becoming aware of the messages it can create allows for validation of mood, self-reflection, and may enhance exploration of one’s inner thoughts and feelings.
As Bruscia appropriately states regarding songs:
Songs are ways that human beings explore emotions. They express who we are and how we feel, they bring us closer to others, they keep us company when we are alone. They articulate our beliefs and values. As the years pass, songs bear witness to our lives. They allow us to relive the past, examine the present, and to voice our dreams of the future. Songs weave tales of our joys and sorrows, they reveal our inner most secrets, and they express our hopes and disappointments, our fears and triumphs. They are our musical diaries, our life stories. They are the sounds of our personal development (Bruscia 1998, P.9)