MusicWorx Toolbox: Music Therapy and Adolescent Populations


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MusicWorx Toolbox: Music Therapy and Adolescent Populations
By: Noelle Pederson, BA, MT–BC, NICU MT 

"What do music therapy sessions with adolescents look like?" is a common question amongst the music therapy community. This is incredibly challenging to answer. Considering how many different populations exist within the adolescent demographic, it is unlikely that two sessions look alike within each population. Music Therapy and Adolescent Populations provides potential goal areas, various intervention ideas within several mediums, examples of sample lyrics, and processing themes tested with a variety of teen populations including all the following:

  • after-school program
  • developmental disabilities
  • juvenile detention
  • music enrichment program (libraries)
  • sexual health (Planned Parenthood)
  • substance abuse
  • support groups: HIV / AIDS, cancer, juvenile arthritis
  • victims of violence

These intervention ideas are thorough enough that they can be replicated exactly to create a successful therapeutic session, or they can be modified to incorporate any therapists' unique artistic interpretation. Expand on each intervention listed under the session plans in order to create up to one hour of equivalent topic therapeutic musical exercises, or use two or more interventions interchangeably to create a multi-dynamic session that can accommodate hours of exceptional music therapy interventions!

What's Inside This Toolbox

  • 91 single-sided pages
  • 23 digital files for colorful handouts, including songs, articles, book lists
  • 12 detailed sessions
  • 6 MP3 background tracks and original songs
  • 3 workshop session plans
  • 1 user-friendly CD
  • nuts and bolts
  • teen session considerations
  • resource lists for expanded knowledge and repertoire


  • Using This Toolbox
  • Toolbox Nuts and Bolts
  • Session Considerations
  • Types of Interventions
  • Session 1 Introductory Session
  • Session 2 Just Girls
  • Session 3 Just Guys
  • Session 4 Movin', Groovin', and Jimi Hendrix
  • Session 5 Song Title Mash-Up
  • Session 6 Music and Movement
  • Session 7 Music for Social Awareness
  • Session 8 Sexual Health and Awareness
  • Session 9 I Am . . . Not a Stereotype
  • Session 10 Substance Abuse
  • Session 11 Music-Centered Support Group
  • Session 12 You've Got a Voice—Use It!
  • Three 90-Minute Workshop Session Plans
  • Documentation
  • Program Development
  • Songs for Lyric Analysis
  • Additional Resources


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