Episode 67: Music Therapy Gear

by MTRT on June 9, 2015

Every craftsman (or woman) has his or her tools. A carpenter has his saws and drill bits. A surgeon – her forceps and scalpels. A gardener has her spade and pruner. In many trades and professions, the tools become personal to the ones using them. You know what I mean when I mention that favorite sauté pan or the car you wish had lasted forever because it just felt right.

In this episode of the music therapy round table podcast, we’re going to encourage you to think about your music therapy tools of the trade in a similar manner. Maybe some of you already do. Is this to develop some odd, unhealthy relationship with our material implements? No, it’s so that we get a better understanding of the sonic possibilities that exist within the instruments.

In my own practice, I notice that subtle changes in instrument selection or the method employed when playing instruments can have a tremendous effect on the timbre and texture of a given instrument. Being observant of this expands the ways in which we can musically interact with our patients and clients, and thus enhances the therapeutic relationship and effect.

Show Notes

  • Recommendation for students/interns: take time to explore the instruments that are available and carefully evaluate the sounds you are able to draw out of an instrument
  • Draw on the experience of other students and professionals when selecting instruments
  • Challenge yourself to incorporate new instruments into your work
  • Consider the associations or triggers that might exist with an instrument
  • From Matt: Change your guitar strings!

Cool Resources

The Guitten protects the headstock of your guitar, keeping those tempting tuning pegs out of site when you are working with your clients.


Michelle has launched her new Virtual Assistant business. Check it out at MichelleErfurt.com!

Matt’s website, MusicTherapySource.com, is undergoing a redesign. Check it out in the next few days!

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