• Experiential time : the special world of music therapy composition

      Olsher, Dean (2015)
      Paul Nordoff challenged music therapists to compose original clinical music informed by works of master composers such as Mozart, Schumann, and Debussy. Nordoff’s understanding of idioms was derived from Rudolf Steiner's anthroposophical conception of musical archetypes. The notion of idiom as musical archetype is reframed here according to a cultural rather than mystical framework, to appeal more widely to music therapists of all orientations. This cultural worldview allows the identification of a new clinical idiom based on the gentle jazz piano style associated with children that emerged in American popular culture during the 1960s. Original compositions by the present author were created following Nordoff's process of absorbing music of the past. The new works are modeled on an updated canon of 20th-century American composers including Joplin, Copland, Evans, Guaraldi, Newman, and Waits. The emotional and psychological effects of various compositional procedures--including reharmonization, contrafact, the characteristic piece (Charakterstück), and musical recombination--are analyzed. A case report recounts in detail the creation of a therapeutic song in a clinical setting.
    • “Nobody Sees Me Lying There With Depression” : an arts-based research project on a music therapy intern’s experience of major depressive disorder

      Peters, Thomas J. (2020-05)
      Through arts-based research, I studied my experience as a music therapy intern with major depressive disorder. I explored how a depressive episode impacted my work as an intern and how the episode affected my transition from intern to therapist. During the internship, I recorded improvisations to process the depressive episode. Two years after I completed the internship, I revisited these improvisations with prose poem responses. After finding themes and significant phrases, I composed a song entitled “Nobody Sees Me”. This arts-based project focuses on my unique experience, but the project has professional and academic implications. The project demonstrates a need for mental health services for graduate students, and my personal journey may provide support for music therapy interns and students with disorders of mental health.