Music has always been a very important part of my life. Certain songs remind me of good and not so good times. As adolescents and teenagers, my friends and I spent considerable time listening to music. Cable T.V. had not arrived in our town yet, and Pong seemed boring to us, so replaying our albums until we memorized them was the normal after school activity.My mom enjoyed music too, as evidenced by her enthusiasm while she was singing. Loudly and with gusto, just like how I sing. I recall many mornings waking up to the music from South Pacific. How many 8 year olds know all the words to “Bali Ha’i“? Notice I did not say that she sang well; nor do I, but I sure enjoy singing loudly. I was exposed to various types of music, and due to this my music collection is widely varied.
Music can often affect my mood, emotions, and energy. Dan Fogelberg’s song Leader of the Band always brings me to tears. It is a beautiful tribute to his father, and was a song that my mom and I liked. Many songs make me want to dance (okay that’s what I call it; it looks more like I have lost all control of my arms and legs), such as M.C. Hammer’s U Can’t Touch This. Music has power and its effects depend on what I associate the song with.
Music may be used in counseling as a way to get clients talking about something that is not threatening or too personal in the rapport building stages. Clients may be encouraged to bring in music that represents what they are experiencing currently, or music that has helped them overcome a difficult situation. Music may also be helpful when trying to connect with adolescents. Asking about his or her music may offer insight for the counselor and help build trust with the young person.
Music has the power to affect mood, emotions, and energy. It can be used for identifying difficult emotions and remembering good times. Music has the power to heal and transform us, and can be very effective when used in counseling.