Peters’ Music Therapy: An Introduction (3rd ed.) is aptly named. Wanda Lathom-Radocy has remained true to the precedent set by Jacqueline Peters in prior editions titled Music Therapy: An Introduction (1987, 2002). In fact, the table of contents remains essentially unchanged from the second edition to the third. In the book’s preface, Lathom-Radocy sets a clear intention for this edition. She writes that her “job . . . was to include literature appearing since the second edition and to make changes in terminology that reflect the vocabulary used in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.; American Psychiatric Association, 2013)” (p. vii). To update the literature, she completed a hand-search of the two American Music Therapy Association journals: Journal of Music Therapy and Music Therapy Perspectives. Lathom-Radocy intentionally chose not to conduct an electronic search of the scholarly literature, so as to contain the length of this introductory book. The intended audience for the book is primarily those who have little or no knowledge about music therapy. Lathom-Radocy does, however, allow that it may be useful to practicing music therapists looking for updated literature summaries, additional clinical techniques, or thinking about working with a different client population. As an introductory text, she states that it does not go deeply into any particular area of study. As mentioned above, the structure of the book remains unchanged from previous editions. It has three major parts. Parts I and II consist of two chapters each. Part III encompasses the rest of the book and consists of 19 chapters. “Part I: Music Therapy & the Music Therapist” contains “Chapter 1: Definition of Music Therapy” and “Chapter 2: The Education and Training of the Music Therapist.” The definition of music therapy remains the same as in prior editions, as does the discussion of education and training. Chapter 2 includes support for curricula that include classical training on a primary instrument and a well-expressed section on “Attitudes” required of music therapists. “Part II: Historical Background for Music Therapy” is familiar. Its two chapters “A Historical Overview of the Use of Music to Promote Health” (Ch. 3) and “The Development of Music Therapy as an Organized Profession” (Ch. 4) explore the same topic areas as in previous editions. In chapter 3, example topics include “Primitive and Ancient Cultures” and “The Renaissance.” In chapter 4, example topics include “Early Twentieth-Century Attempts at Organization” and “The Sustained Move Toward Professional Organization Following World War II.” The 19 chapters of “Part III: Current Clinical Practices in Music Therapy” begin with “Chapter 5: General Guidelines for the Therapeutic Use of Music, Part I: Theoretical Principles.” In this chapter, 11 theoretical principles related to the use of music as a treatment modality are explicated. The principles and their explications remain the same as those in the second edition. In Chapter 6, “General Guidelines for the Therapeutic Use of Music, Part II: Practical Planning,” the stages of music therapy service are described. They include: referral; assessment; setting goals and objectives; planning interventions; implementing treatment procedure; documentation and data collection; evaluation; and termination. Further, rationales for involving clients in individual versus group therapy are discussed. Finally, example music experiences useful in addressing typical music therapy goal areas are provided. Again, these topics and explications are the same as those in the second edition. As in past editions, the chapters are well written and provide excellent information related to the foundations of music therapy. Chapters 7 through 21 describe, for each of 14 different diagnostic areas, a set of consistent topics. The diagnostic areas include: Intellectual Disabilities, Specific Learning Disabilities, Hearing Impairments, Visual Impairments, Orthopedic Impairments, Communication Disorders or Impairments, Autism Spectrum, Mental or Behavior Disorders or Severe Emotional Disturbances, Severe Multiple Disabilities, Medical Treatment Settings, Physical Rehabilitation Programs, Elderly, Terminally Ill, and Health and Well-Being. The topics covered for each diagnostic area include: a) a definition of the diagnostic area; b) the common characteristics, problems, and needs of persons with the diagnosis; c) settings for music therapy service delivery; d) the use of music in therapy as related to different goal areas; and e) special considerations and tips for planning music experiences with persons with the diagnosis. The literature reviews related to sections on the use of music in therapy as related to different goal areas shine. These reviews allow readers to perceive, as Lathom-Radocy intends, the “use of music as an integral part of the treatment process” (p. ix). Chapters 22 and 23 close the book with overviews of selected approaches to music therapy and music therapy research. The approaches addressed in Chapter 22 include: Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy, Psychodynamic Music Therapy, Improvisation, the Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music, Orff, Kodaly, Dalcroze, Suzuki, Vibroacoustic, Developmental, Behavioral, Cognitive, Humanistic, Biomedical, and Neurologic Music Therapy. Each approach is addressed at an appropriate depth given the context of an introductory book, and there appears to be little, if any, bias toward one approach or another. The chapter seems haphazardly organized; it may be difficult for readers to think about and put into context the information without the perspective of an instructor. “Chapter 23: Clinicians and Research” provides foundational information about different types of research, the research attitude, applying the research attitude, and using and doing research in clinical settings. This chapter also provides little sense of hierarchical organization, which may make it challenging for readers to place those terms into a larger context. The book includes four important resources. First, each “Part” begins with a useful introduction and a set of learning objectives. Second, each chapter concludes with a “Questions for Thought and Discussion” section that highlights primary chapter topics and/or provides relevant case studies for discussion. Third, the Reference section (85 pages) provides a trove of references from which to begin a larger literature search on the topics discussed in the book. Finally, the book contains thorough Author and Subject Indexes that that make searching a hard copy simple to accomplish. When considering the use of this book in an educational program, one might reflect on the coherence of its topics with the Certification Board for Music Therapists (CBMT) Board Certification Exam Domains and with the American Music Therapy Association Standards of Practice. Lathom-Radocy seems to refer to “general goal areas” in much the same terms that the CBMT Board Certification Exam Domains refer to “assessment domains.” In comparing the “goal areas” to the “assessment domains,” Lathom-Radocy separates the “sensory” and “motor” goal areas and refers to a “social” goal area, whereas CBMT refers to a “sensorimotor” domain and a “psychosocial” domain. Additionally, the book does not refer to goal areas related to the “musical,” “physiological,” and “spiritual” CBMT assessment domains. When comparing the populations and diagnostic areas of the AMTA Standards of Practice to those covered in this book, all areas are covered, with the exception of Addictive Disorders. A few qualities of the book are important to note. First, the chapters range in length from 10 to over 60 pages, with the average chapter length between 20 and 30 pages. Educators may want to consider this when assigning weekly readings. Second, this book could be considered not only an introductory text, but also a historical resource. The references capture the writings of three, if not four, generations of music therapy theorists, researchers, and educators. They reach as far back into the music therapy literature as E. Thayer Gaston (1964) and William Sears (1963), and as far forward as Eric Waldon (2015) and Darcy Walworth (2013). Finally, this could be considered a “traditional” introduction to music therapy text in that it supports familiar curricula and familiar ways of thinking about music therapy; for example, the purpose of music therapy is to “facilitate the development of non-musical skills” (p. 10). In conclusion, this book follows directly the precedent set by Jacqueline Peters’s previous editions. It is familiar and, for the most part, updated. It is well written and accessible to the average reader. It seems unbiased to any one specific approach to music therapy, and it puts music always at the forefront of music therapy processes. Lathom-Radocy has paid a beautiful tribute to previous editions of the book. She states herself, however, in the preface, that a fourth edition should involve an electronic search of the literature. I would go further and hope that the next edition would shift in format and content. In our profession, the literature is exploding, clinical practices are growing, and the learning habits of students are shifting; this all contributes to the fluidity of the contexts in which we teach. It is time to reexamine our introductory courses and the texts from which we teach them. References AmericanMusic Therapy Association. (2000–2015). Journal of music therapy . Silver Spring, MD. AmericanMusic Therapy Association. (2000–2015). Music therapy perspectives . Silver Spring, MD. American Psychiatric Association . ( 2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders ( 5th ed.). Washington, DC: Author. Peters J . ( 1987, 2002). Music therapy: An introduction ( 1st and 2nd ed.). Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas. © American Music Therapy Association 2017. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Music Therapy Perspectives – Oxford University Press
Published: Apr 17, 2017
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