Writing Music Therapy


arts-informed inquiry
poetic inquiry

How to Cite

Rykov, M. (2011). Writing Music Therapy. Voices: A World Forum for Music Therapy, 11(1). https://doi.org/10.15845/voices.v11i1.288


Communicating about music therapy is problematic because discursive language fails to convey the nonverbal, embodied essence of experience. I explore the emergence of this problem in the music therapy literature. I discuss the scholarship of phenomenological writing. I provide examples of nondiscursive music therapy writing. I introduce the genre of poetic inquiry.

Poetry is the most musical form of language. Poetry and music, linked throughout history, share many characteristics. It makes sense that we use poetry to write about music therapy.

Writing is a crucial skill for music therapy professionals who must produce various notes, proposals, and reports. Writing poetically is a diminished stance compared to discursive prose writing. It is understandable that representing music therapy in experimental, tentative, and creative texts is risky. I invite music therapists to aspire towards poetry when writing music therapy to better address nonverbal, embodied, music therapy essence. I address this invitation to all writers of music therapy: undergraduate and graduate students, clinicians, and researchers.


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