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Do My Story, Sing My Song : Music Therapy and Playback Theatrewith Troubled Children
Jo Salas
Tusitala / Softcover / Jan 2007
9780964235069 (ISBN-10: 0964235064)
Music Therapy / Drama Therapy, Psychodrama
price: $27.50 (may be subject to change)
180 pages
Not in Stock, but usually ships within 2-3 weeks

Do My Story, Sing My Song tells the stories of children in residential treatment, diagnosed as severely emotionally disturbed, who took part in music and drama therapy with the author. Engaging, informative, and moving, this book is for general readers, teachers, parents, artists, therapists, policy makers, and anyone interested in children and the arts within or beyond therapeutic contexts.


“The children whom Jo Salas writes about were all, in one form or another, profoundly disturbed. And yet she managed to contact them with a model composed of music, art, storytelling, role playing and various forms of drama. With delicate insight, deep tenderness and above all, with creativity, she deals with the magic, too often buried and untouched, that is to be found in children.”
—Zerka Moreno, psychodramatist and co-author (with J.L. Moreno) of Who Shall Survive? (Vol. 2.) and co-author of Psychodrama, Surplus Reality and the Art of Healing

“I was deeply moved by this natural, human and heart-touching book. The style is so unassuming and clear. How well the author serves these embattled children!"
—Dr Clive Robbins, Director of the Nordoff Robbins Center, New York University, co-founder of the Nordoff Robbins Clinics, London and New York, and co-author of Creative Music Therapy.

“A fine accomplishment with an inspiring, yet usually overlooked, subject. Jo Salas has written a powerful testament to the raw power of artistic experience and the redemptive power of creative expression. She has the poet’s eye for telling detail, the playwright’s ear for the surprising (and hilarious) rich dialog, and the writer’s gift for capturing troubled children in elegant, beautiful portraits.”
—Eric Booth, Founder of Juilliard's Art and Education Program, consultant to The Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center Institute, and Tanglewood, and author of The Everyday Work of Art.



1. St Mary’s—starting something new

2. A musical tornado—a boy expresses anger, trust and pride through music

3. Lizzie the mermaid—a traumatized girl sings

4. Singing with the Anthonites—group music therapy

5. Harmony and dissonance—the role of talent and other considerations

6. “Do my story!”—introducing Playback Theatre to St Mary’s

7. Gastonia—two severely disturbed boys and their musical expression

8. A painting of the world—a drama therapy group

9. The bag of stones—therapy groups using Playback Theatre

10. Stories in the Space Room—a week-by-week chronicle of one Playback therapy group

11. Shade sings her life—music therapy with an angry, soulful girl

12. Tamira’s second chance—an all-girls Playback Theatre group

13. “Music is curative”—a boy composes songs

14. Coda—the permanent place of the arts at St Mary’s

Appendix: About the creative arts therapies

References and Resources

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Drama Therapy, Psychodrama
Music Therapy