The Use of Voice in Music Therapy

  • The Use of Voice in Music Therapy
  • Author: Meashey, Kelly
  • ISBN: 9781945411533
  • E-ISBN: 9781945411540

Use of Voice in Music Therapy provides hands-on methods for how to sing with clients. With step-by-step instructions for working with any population (verbal or non-verbal), it includes scripts for introducing techniques, original music to give creative direction, as well as a large list of song material. Mini case examples throughout will further inspire therapists to introduce various singing methods with clients.

The methods are organized under goal areas such as: Stress Reduction, Self-expression, Social Interaction, Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Cognitive Skills, Support for Emotional and Physical Pain, etc. It includes a Toolbox section describing each technique so they can be shifted and used under any goal. There is also research to legitimize and support the therapist’s understanding of the effectiveness of therapeutic singing as well as bolster confidence when utilizing methods. Basic vocal exercises, improvisation exercises, exercises to develop one’s vocal identity, and exercises which encourage self-awareness are provided in the Therapist Training section as well as ethical considerations of singing with clients.

An excellent resource for educators to use in teaching music therapy methodology, and music therapy voice, Use of Voice in Music Therapy is also useful for clinicians of all levels who wish to re-connect with singing and who are looking to renew creativity in clinical practice. Voice teachers and vocalists may find helpful ideas.


Chapter 1:    Introduction/Experiential Introduction

  • The Voice in Human Development
  • The Voice in Adulthood
  • The Voice in Music Therapy
  • Therapeutic Benefits of Singing

PART ONE — Therapist Training

Chapter 2:    Using the Musical Elements

Chapter 3:    Exploring Your Own Vocal Range/Limits

  • Basic Vocal Technique Exercises

Chapter 4:    Improvisation

Chapter 5:    Simplifying the Voice When Working with Clients

Chapter 6:    Vocal Identity and Self-Expression

PART TWO — Working with Clients

Chapter 7:    Ethics of Self-Awareness for Vocalists

Chapter 8:    Methods for Awareness of Therapist/ Client Dynamics

Chapter 9:    Goal Areas and Methods

  • Establishing Safety
  • Levels of Utilizing Methods

Chapter 10:  Maintaining Goals as the Focus

  • Grounding/Empowerment
  • Toning
  • Call-and-Response
  • Songs of Empowerment
  • Singing and Rhythm
  • The Blues
  • Final Thoughts

Chapter 11:  Sense of Unity (Group Cohesion/ Individual Connection)

  • Singing Songs in Unison
  • Singing Harmony
  • Singing Fun, Silly Songs
  • Vowels

Chapter 12:  Stress Reduction/Relaxation

  • Vocal Exercises
  • Chant
  • Singing and Imagery
  • Singing and Mandala

Chapter 13:  Cognitive Behavior, Rational Thinking, and Emotional Regulation

  • Singing Songs for Core Beliefs
  • Simple Lyric Writing
  • Songwriting
  • Mindful Singing
  • Singing with Bilateral Stimulation  and Grounding Techniques

Chapter 14:  Self-Expression and Communication

  • Listening
  • Dialogue
  • Dialogue with Nonverbal Clients
  • Dialogue with Verbal Clients
  • Fill-Ins and One-Word Phrases
  • Dynamics and Tempo
  • Singing Songs
  • Short Songs
  • Singing Songs and Planned Dynamics
  • Singing Songs at Different Tempos
  • Sharing Songs, Receptive to Singing
  • Sharing Songs in Individual Sessions
  • Sharing Songs in a Group
  • Receptive Listening and Mandala
  • Singing for Clients

Chapter 15:  Support for Emotional Pain

  • Toning
  • Singing Songs
  • Vocal Improvisation
  • Songwriting with a Goal of Singing
  • Vocal Psychotherapy

Chapter 16:  Support for Physical Pain

  • Toning
  • Singing for Entrainment
  • Songwriting and Singing
  • Singing Songs

Chapter 17:  Social Interaction and Relationship-Building

  • Sing-Alongs
  • Client’s Choice
  • Fill-Ins
  • Call-and-Response
  • Tempo and Dynamic Changes
  • Silly Songs
  • Songs to Promote Functional Skills
  • Singing to Promote Social Skills

Chapter 18:  Cognitive Development

  • Singing for Reminiscing
  • Singing for Label and Object Recognition
  • Melodic Intonation Therapy

Chapter 19:  Physical Development

  • Vocal Exercises for Speech Articulation
  • Monotone and Arrhythmic Speaking
  • Singing for Diaphragmatic Strength,  Lung Capacity, and Fluid Speech

Chapter 20:  Psychotherapy

  • Training Requirements
  • Grieving
  • Healing Deep Wounds
  • Transpersonal Experiences

Chapter 21:  Toolbox

  • Call-and-Response
  • Chant
  • Dialogue
  • Dynamics and Tempo
  • Fill-Ins and One-Word Phrases
  • Listening
  • Lyric Writing
  • Receptive Methods
  • Sing-Alongs
  • Singing and Imagery
  • Singing and Mandala
  • Singing for Entrainment
  • Singing in Harmony
  • Singing Lighthearted Fun, Joyful, and Silly Songs
  • Singing Songs in Unison
  • Songwriting
  • Toning
  • Vocal Exercises
  • Vocal Improvisation

Chapter 22:  Conclusion

Appendix:    Lisa Sokolov Duet Games

Song Resources