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What is Music Therapy?
The Nordoff-Robbins approach to music therapy rests on two basic principles. The first is that all human beings are innately, inherently musical. No matter who the client is, no matter the extent and severity of his or her afflictions, the ability to perceive music and the motivation to respond to music remain intact in some form. The second principle is that music making–interactive, communicative, improvisational music making by therapist and client together–is an inherently developmental process. The sheer sound energy that is music, skillfully controlled through its organizing principles of tone, melody, rhythm, harmony, dynamics, and tempo, offers “an enormous and potentially unlimited range of active, self-integrative experience that is available for therapeutic use,” according to Nordoff and Robbins.
“Through music, a client can express with growing eloquence their presence in this world and relate to and communicate with others with ever-increasing mutuality and intimacy."
-Alan Turry, DA, MT-BC, LCAT, Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapist
Music Therapist’s Perspective
Alan Turry has earned his B.A., M.A. and DA degrees in Music Therapy from New York University. He is the Managing Director of the Nordoff-Robbins Center for Music Therapy in NYC. He is also a researcher, senior clinician, level III trainer/educator and supervisor for advanced trainees and therapists, and teaches clinical improvisation in the NYU Graduate Music Therapy Program. In Alan’s doctoral research, he examines the relationship between lyrics and music in improvised songs that were created in the context of music therapy with Maria Logis.