Music & Therapeutic Revolutions

An analog clock consists of a fixed-numbered dial and moving hands. The hands are composed of hour, minute, and second hands. Graduations along the clock face indicate the minutes and the hours, while the various clock hands cycle through each graduation of time, making one revolution around the clock face for every minute, hour, and 12-hour cycle.

There are two definitions of revolution. A revolution can mean both a cycle or rotation, or a transformation or change.

When I originally named this blog two years ago, I wanted to name it after a joke I share with my husband. In college, while working on music therapy session plans, studying various courses, or going out to practicums, my now-husband would humorously ask, “Oh, is it music therapy time”? This joke has continued throughout our relationship, and remained humorous to us because phrasing music therapy in such a way made it sound more like “play time” or “nap time”. It was a mild way to poke fun at how the public often views music therapy as entertainment, rather than as a therapeutic engagement within music between a client and a therapist. “Music therapy time” was especially humorous to us, you see, as my husband is one of the most articulate and informative non-music therapists on the profession. “Music Therapy Time” began to represent the realities of music therapy within a place of warmth and humor. This phrase encapsulated my intentions behind writing a blog.

But as Music Therapy Time has grown as a blog space, I’ve come to understand that phrase within a newer and much deeper context. I began to think about what “time” represents in life, especially as I internally celebrated my own victory of keeping a blog up-to-date for the past 2 years. There is specific terminology associated with time and clocks that have become a bit antiquated, including the analog clock itself. But the original design of the clock was well conceived. Each hand on the clock makes it ways around the various intervals, continuously making revolutions as time moves forward.

These revolutions made by the clock hands are not that different from the revolutions we experience within our own lives. Our lives fulfill various cycles including seasons, our own physiology, and life itself. With clients, additional cycles are often experienced, rotating through illness and health. Through these cycles, we experience the other definition of revolution, such as transformation, change, and innovation. Within therapy, one could consider these cycles and transformations to be therapeutic revolutions.

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Logo by P. Murphy Design

Moving forward, I’d like to consider my music therapy ideas, interventions, activities, or exercises as therapeutic revolutions. Music therapy is meant to be a musical facilitator of change. It is more than just activities or exercises, and the word “intervention” is often accompanied by a negative perspective. Music Therapy revolutions will take into consideration the reality that our lives are not linear and that we sometimes cycle back to the place we were before, but always moving forward in time. Music Therapy revolutions will represent the tangible work that takes place within music therapy, from the perspective of both the client and the therapist.

Music Therapy Time is not only a lighthearted play on words, but it is a space where ideas can be gathered, innovation can be documented, and revolutions can take place. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this framework, terminology, or any other takeaway’s, so please comment below.

I’m looking forward to Music Therapy Time’s 3rd revolution.

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