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date: 20 July 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Songwriting in music therapy practice encompasses various techniques whereby clients, children, adults, or older people are assisted, individually or in groups, to create lyrics and music and to perform and/or record their own songs. The most common clinical areas for songwriting in contemporary practice are psychiatry, autistic spectrum disorder, developmental disability, oncology, dementia, and neurorehabilitation. Frequent therapeutic goals are related to validating experiences, externalizing thought, fantasies, and emotions or to develop cognitive skills. Specific goals may not always be clearly defined before the creative process, and client’s needs may emerge as the lyrics and music are created. Songwriting in music therapy is based on methods with defined steps or stages which many different practitioners have tested and refined. This chapter also presents a less directive approach which is based on a loose framework of guidelines.

Keywords: songwriting, lyrics, music composition, recording, performance

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