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October 2021

Reflections on the pre-musical moment

Journal/Book: Journal of British Music Therapy. 1987; 1: 22-24.

Abstract: Describes the initial moments of a music therapy session, before the therapist and client begin to play music together. In a first session, this moment may be charged with anxiety, anticipation, excitement, for both the therapist and client. At times, this moment gathers significance and can get in the way of playing music, while at other times, the feelings that arise in the moment can be negotiated, talked about, and can be channelled into music making. ABSTRACT 2: Patients in hospitals frequently have little choice about attending music therapy sessions. This, in addition to the novelty of music therapy as a treatment, may make both patient and therapist uncomfortable. The patient is unsure as to what to expect, and the music therapist uncertain as to how much to say - or to leave unsaid. This article draws on the author's experience as a music therapist in a small adult psychiatric hospital. It is an attempt at examining the pre-musical moment at the time when both the patient and the music therapist are engated in sharing their expectations and anxieties, and in negotiating a resolution before the musical-therapeutic process can begin.

Note: PO Box 66313, Broadway 2020, Johannesburg, South Africa

Keyword(s): patient, hospital, adult, psychiatric-expectation, anxiety.

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