Updated: Jul 21
Helen Dolas, Board Certified Music Therapist, founder/CEO of Able ARTS Work, and Faculty Member at California State University Northridge lead a “Share a Song” music therapy workshop on Zoom with us back in February. Everyone brought a song that helped them through the past year to share with the rest of the group and we created a playlist and discussed the lyrics. We’re going to share the process and outcome of that workshop with you.
“Music is the literature of the heart; it commences where speech ends.” - Alphonse de Lamartine
The atmosphere was jovial, welcoming during the online music therapy workshop. Everyone was engaged across ages, abilities, and languages. We shared favorite songs with one another and unpacked the emotions tied to them. You can join us in this activity as well by listening to the playlist that we created on Spotify. As you listen, think about the lyrics of each song individually. What do they mean to you, what stands out? Also, think about the lyrics as a collective in the playlist. Are there similarities between the songs’ words, themes, melodies that catch your attention?
For more song lyric analysis techniques, join board-certified Music Therapist Kassidy King as she analyzes “If I Ain’t Got You” by Alicia Keys.
Towards the end of the “Share a Song” Workshop, Helen encouraged everyone who participated to reflect upon the songs and how they felt, and take a line or word from each song that resonated with them and rearrange them to create their own poem. One of the participants shared her poem with us, and gave us permission to share it with you.
Pause, take a breath and bow, and I let that chapter end.
I can feel a change in everything,
You’ve got all I need.
Speaking words of wisdom,
That loves the finest thing around.
I know you’re able and I know you can,
But you’re speaking an upspoken language.
The only thing that matters now is what you think of me,
What a privilege of being yours.
Drive up the coast with the wind in my hair,
Clap along if you know what happiness is to you.
Dreams really do come true.
Overall it was a wonderful, therapeutic music experience. People were engaged and we had great feedback. Why don’t you follow this process and try out this music therapy technique for yourself? You can create your own playlist or use ours.
If you do create your own poem or lyrics, please share it with us, either by commenting down below or tag us in a post on Facebook or Instagram, @ableartslearnforlife . Sign up for one of our upcoming music therapy workshops to have your own meaningful experience.
Helen and team, Thanks for facilitating "Share a Song" workshop. It was engaging and well designed and I would recommend it to anyone. – Alan B.
I loved it because I learned how to write a song! I saw one of my friends too! It was a fun time! – Stephanie M.
Sydney Davis-Campos is the Virtual Learning Coordinator at Able ARTS Work, Learn for Life. She has a B.A. in Studio Art and Art History. Sydney has worked at Able ARTS Work for almost 5 years where she has also held the positions of Art Instructor and an Assistant Program Manager.