While more and more certified music therapists appear to be using improvisational methods, few published resources exist to guide training and development, especially at the undergraduate/entry level. This unprecedented book provides clinicians, educators, and trainers with knowledge-based and skill-based competencies in group improvisation leadership and a suggested sequence for instruction in these specific competencies. The focus is on the use of percussion instruments, which are employed more often by music therapists than other instruments in group improvisation. The overarching aim is to help the reader become a facilitator who uses music in an authentic, communicative, flexible, and intentional way. Authentic means with genuineness of expression, communicative refers to the desire and ability to make meaningful contact with the other players, flexible relates to playing a responsive and adaptable manner, and intentional means with a clear clinical purpose in mind.
Altogether, the competencies pinpointed in this book fall into three categories: Preparatory Skills, Facilitative Skills, and Verbal Processing Skills. Preparatory Skills refer to those decisions and actions of the therapist that precede the actual music improvisation. They revolve around the ability of the therapist to comprehend terms and nomenclature germane to the method, manipulate tools and settings used for improvisation including musical instruments and musical elements, and determine suitable structures for improvisation. Facilitative Skills revolve around the ability of the therapist to employ nonmusical and musical techniques in order to engage clients, and being able to listen, comprehend, and describe what is heard. Verbal Processing Skills refer to those skills required to effectively sort out and discuss improvisation. These skills help the therapist to recognize and call attention to significant aspects of the experience with clients and may assist communication with co-therapists, and/or supervisors. The book contains clinical vignettes and 80 exercises designed to reinforce competency in the aforementioned areas.
--- from the publisher