From rock to world beat, pop to blues, music has the power to do much beyond causing the toe to tap.
It can inspire, transport, educate, entertain — and in the right hands, it can even bring about healing.
For Concordia University’s Sandra Curtis, a professor in the Department of Creative Arts Therapies, music is akin to medicine.
She uses music as the tool with which to enter into a deep psychological dialogue with individuals ranging from abused children to palliative care patients; female survivors of domestic violence to individuals struggling with workplace woes.
No matter the audience, music has the power delve deeper than words by speaking to patients on the fundamental level of rhythm and sound.
Although it has yet to fully reach a mainstream clientele, music therapy is something Curtis has been involved with for over three decades. Having practiced in locations as diverse as Cleveland and Georgia, and having taken inspiration from preschoolers and Raging Grannies alike, she recounts her own journey as a music therapist in the enlightening article.
By tracing her own evolution as a professional practitioner of music therapy, Curtis looks at music as a rallying cry that unites individuals seeking social justice.
Within this context, she goes deeper into the practice to examine feminist music therapy.
“This type of therapy often presents work with an explicit focus on social justice for women, children and other marginalized people but it can also expand to address such global issues as war and the environment with a feminist understanding of their impact on marginalized people worldwide,” Curtis explained.
The study has been published in The Arts in Psychotherapy.