Songwriting as music therapy

Songwriting can be a powerful way of helping to shape and navigate an individual’s music therapy experience. Over the past few months, music therapist, Louise, has been writing songs with beneficiaries at a rehabilitation ward in the Greater Manchester Mental Health Trust, as part of their music therapy sessions.

Louise said: “In some cases these songs have simply been fun and a way of building confidence and comfort in self-expression, and in other cases they have provided an outlet for very poignant reflections on life, mental health and the challenges we all face as humans in today’s culture.”

Some of the beneficaries worked with Louise to record the songs they had written in a professional studio with the help of Futureworks, University Education for the Creative Industries, and some of their final year undergraduate students. Service users got the full studio experience, recording their vocals in the live room and working with the sound engineers to make sure their tracks sounded exactly how they wanted them to.

Speaking of the project, Louise said: ‘It was truly inspiring to see the beneficiaries who began their sessions with me in a very reserved way, feeling very cautious towards expressing themselves or to voice their ideas, standing at a microphone, taking full ownership of their creativity, their expression and their unique voice and viewpoints. Were they nervous? Of course. Did they rise to the challenge, overcoming anxiety and the unfamiliar to create something wonderful? They absolutely did!’