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Lyric Divergence is essentialy lyric analysis, or the movement from specific lyrics towards broad interpersonal interaction.


Lyric Analysis

Provide lyric sheets and pencils, then listen to music. Counseling becomes more comfortable and enjoyable through context of song, so talk about song first then transfer to patients. Songs should be patient preferred and yet more importantly, session/goal/topic oriented. Consult Lyric Analysis table for suggestions. Topical hand-out/WS is excellent complement to lyric analyses.

Pick a song patients may be familiar with and enjoy to hand out numbered lyric sheets, which may have homework on the back such as, “What are some qualities you and this Desparado may have in common?” “What are some things you can do in the future to avoid becoming like this Desparado?” Let patients know that their perceptions are always right so they can be free, the MT-BC has no better idea what the songwriting had in mind. Ask simple questions, what they did and did not like about the song, and usually someone will comment on the lyrics, so reinforce their deeper thought and transition into lyric analysis. Perhaps ask about a specific line, “The artist says this, what do you think they might be talking about?” or, “Can you relate to this?” (Silverman, 2010) Explore patients’ perceptions, facilitate self-expression, counsel, or teach psychoeducational concepts. Homework can be given on other topic related songs or continuing practice of psychoeducational concepts.

http://www.vh1.com/partners/vh1_music_studio/supplies/specials/protest-lesson6.html

http://www.greenbookofsongs.com/ This is the greatest resource for preparing a Lyric Analysis session. You need to subscribe annually, but you can save 40% by using the code “musictherapy” Search for any theme and filter by 31 different music genres, or by “hits only.” You can also explore the themes manually through over 2,200 themes, concepts, or topics, i.e., categorized from “The Self, Emotions, & Relationships,” through “Emotions,” to “Feelings: Emotional Struggles.”

http://www.songfacts.com/categories.php Songfacts is a huge database that builds explanations of songs and song lyrics through individuals’ comments, and the page includes links to stream the song and to read the song’s lyrics. Songs are categorized and easy to prepare for specific sessions, or perhaps you will just search the categories and develop a theme. The “About” category is particularly helpful for the Music Therapist.

http://depression.wikia.com/wiki/List_of_songs_about_mental_illness Here is a page dedicated to songs about mental illnesses.

http://www.songfacts.com/blog/writing/superman_in_song/ It may be helpful to plan a theme for each session. Whether addressing cocaine the “Superman drug,” inspiring the Superman within, or discussing what your vision of a super man would be like, Songfacts presents and discusses a great collection of Superman themed songs.

http://www.songfacts.com/blog/writing/depressing_songs_that_sound_happy/ Communicating difficult feelings or mood congruence may be discussed by recognizing songs that sound happy but are really depressing when you pay attention to their substance.

http://www.songfacts.com/blog/writing/depressing_songs_that_sound_happy/ Gambling and card games.

Road trip! Life is about the journey, (and!) the destination. Traveling seems to be a perfect metaphor for life, our goals, and obstacles we face along the way.

http://www.songplaces.com/ This map locates songs across the world, try taking the session across the country!

Strutzel, Michelle. (April 30, 2010). Friday Five: Songs about life’s journey. [Web log comment]. Retrieved from http://beyondthemusicmt.blogspot.com/2010/04/friday-five-songs-about- lifes-journey.html

Strutzel, Michelle. (May 28, 2010). Friday five: songs for positive thinking. [Web log comment]. Retrieved from http://beyondthemusicmt.blogspot.com/2010/05/friday-five-songs-for- positive-thinking.html

Strutzel, Michelle. (June 11, 2010). Friday five: songs for self-concept. [Web log comment. Retrieved from http://beyondthemusicmt.blogspot.com/2010/06/friday-five-songs-for- self-concept.html]

Strutzel, Michelle. (June 23, 2010). Again, self-concept...but now we have a plan! [Web log comment]. Retrieved from http://beyondthemusicmt.blogspot.com/2010/06/again-self- conceptbut-now-we-have-plan.html

Strutzel, Michelle. (June 22, 2010). Who I Am: video for self-concept. [Web log comment]. Retrieved from http://beyondthemusicmt.blogspot.com/2010/06/who-i-am-video-for-self- concept.html

Strutzel, Michelle. (June 22, 2010). Who I Am: video for self-concept. [Web log comment]. Retrieved from http://beyondthemusicmt.blogspot.com/2010/06/who-i-am-video-for-self- concept.html

Strutzel, Michelle. (July 23, 2010). Friday five: songs for supportive relationships. [Web log comment]. Retrieved from http://beyondthemusicmt.blogspot.com/2010/07/friday-five- songs-for-supportive.html

Strutzel, Michelle. (August 11, 2010). A song to fit your group topic. [Web log comment]. Retrieved from http://beyondthemusicmt.blogspot.com/2010/08/song-to-fit-your-group- topic.html

Strutzel, Michelle. (August 20, 2010). Friday Five: songs for addiction/substance abuse. [Web log comment]. Retrieved from http://beyondthemusicmt.blogspot.com/2010/08/friday- five-songs-for.html

Topical hand-out/WS suggestions

Time management circle representing 24 hours

Bridge Over Troubled Water

Pair lyric analysis with visual metaphor. Discuss what stress, habits, triggers, burdens, etc are the troubled waters and what supports there are to support your bridge over them. All bridges go from one place to another, what goals are you staying on the road towards?

Drama

Start with simple acting prompts, ie tasting something gross, driving race car, scared about passing test, running a marathon, Christmas morning, broke your leg, seeing cute puppy, or winning lottery. You can pick topic-specific prompts to talk about. You can also work through emotions; understand emotions; practice/attend to NV behavior; role-play family dynamics, peer groups, school cliques, environmental triggers, social interactions; or sing/speak situations using lyrics and in character/celebrity personality. Use teams to cooperatively plan and perform scenes from song lyrics.

Hidden Reasons (Cevasco, Kennedy, & Generally, 2005)

Hidden reasons are cognitive flaws that reinforce irrational thinking and may motivate maladaptive behaviors (Evans & Kane, 1993) Team members collaborate to identify within song lyrics from the following list of hidden reasons:

1) Money will solve all my problems.

2) If treated unfairly, I have the right to be unfair back.

3) A strong person demands respect from others.

4) I am to be admired and made to feel important despite what I do.

5) My childhood experiences control my current behavior and emotions.

6) An important person has power and control.

7) I have the right to be dependent and others will enjoy taking care of me.

8) People should accept me despite my past behavior (I am a changed person).

9) I must avoid difficulties rather than face them (my life should be trouble free).

10) Because I have been treated poorly, I am not responsible for my actions.

11) Honest people are really dishonest (lawyer, judge, minister).

12) Everyone thinks this way.

Teams then deliver rationale and provide supporting statements “for” their findings or against the other team’s findings as they relate to the group.

Rock Opera Role Play

Pick a song patients may be familiar with and enjoy to hand out numbered lyric sheets, which may have homework on the back such as, “What are some qualities you and this Desparado may have in common?” “What are some things you can do in the future to avoid becoming like this Desparado?” Let patients know that their perceptions are always right so they can be free, the MT-BC has no better idea what the songwriting had in mind. Ask simple questions, what they did and did not like about the song, and usually someone will comment on the lyrics, so reinforce their deeper thought and transition into lyric analysis. Perhaps ask about a specific line, “The artist says this, what do you think they might be talking about?” or, “Can you relate to this?” (Silverman, 2010) Explore patients’ perceptions, facilitate self-expression, counsel, or teach psychoeducational topics.

Rational-Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT)

Lyric analysis rapidly establishes trust and a therapeutic alliance, and once the patient is open and engaged, the discussion can be led in a variety of counseling approaches. As an example, song lyrics such as, “Always On My Mind,” or “I’m Just a Kid,” can be used to demonstrate and practice the correction of common irrational beliefs. Song lyrics can also be used to show how our beliefs and perceptions hold on our behavioral responses.


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