Music therapy is as much an ineffable experience as it is something concrete and observable. We want to share with you six music therapy quotes that perhaps provide a small window into what makes it so special and magical! These music therapy quotes come from musicians, music therapists, psychologists, novelists, and more! Which one is your favorite?
Music therapy quote #1 – Barbara Crowe
“(Music therapy) can make the difference between withdrawal and awareness, between isolation and interaction, between chronic pain and comfort — between demoralization and dignity.”
Barbara J. Crowe is the Director of Music Therapy at Arizona State University. She was also President of the National Association for Music Therapy and served as Chair of the Transition Task Force on Educational and Clinical Training. Additionally, Professor Crowe’s research interests include the historical antecedents of modern music therapy and the theoretical foundations of music therapy practice. More info about Prof. Crowe here.
Music therapy quote #2 – Hans Christian Andersen
“Where words fail, music speaks.”
Hans Christian Andersen was a Danish author best known for writing children’s stories including ‘The Little Mermaid’ and ‘The Ugly Duckling.’ He was interested in music and had a good singing voice. He would have liked to become a professional singer but this dream never came to fruition. During his travels he would attend operas, concerts, and intimate performances. Andersen knew several Danish and international composers personally.
Music therapy quote #3 – Jodi Picoult
“Music therapy, to me, is music performance without the ego. It’s not about entertainment as much as its about empathizing. If you can use music to slip past the pain and gather insight into the workings of someone else’s mind, you can begin to fix a problem.”
Jodi Lynn Picoult is an American novelist. Currently approximately 14 million copies of her books are in print worldwide, translated into 34 languages. In her book “Sing You Home” she engages with the world of music therapy as the protagonist becomes a music therapist and uses “music clinically to soothe burn victims in a hospital; to help Alzheimer’s patients connect with the present; to provide solace for hospice patients,” and more.
Music therapy quote #4 – Michael Greene
“When we look at the body of evidence that the arts contribute to our society, it’s absolutely astounding. Music Therapists are breaking down the walls of silence and affliction of autism, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.”
Michael Greene is the president/CEO of Artist Tribe and myMuse. He was head of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) from 1988 to 2002. The son of a Big Band leader, Greene began his career as a recording artist, songwriter & producer with Warner Brothers, Mercury Records, and General Recording Corporation. Greene built Apogee Sound Studio and Crawford Sound Studio, as well as publishing companies while working with artists such as Ray Charles, James Brown, Keith Jarrett, Lionel Richie, Sarah Vaughan, Kenny Loggins, Sammy Hagar, Kansas, and many more.
Music therapy quote #5 – Brian Schreck
“Music therapy is a credentialed health profession that uses music to help people.” … “I wanna make sure that you know that music therapy is alive. This is live music and if you’re too sick or fragile to make it I’m going to involve everyone else that is present in the room in the experience.”
Brian Schreck is a board-certified music therapist who has worked with people with a wide range of medical illnesses since 2004. He is currently serving people of all ages diagnosed with cancer and their families at the Norton Cancer Institute in Louisville, KY. He was also Sam’s therapist at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. Check out an interview with him here:
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Music therapy quote #6 – Andrea Bocelli
“Music is an art that goes well beyond science. Proof can be found in the huge amount of studies that have been carried out throughout the world based on music-therapy and the important results achieved.”
Andrea Bocelli is “the world’s most beloved tenor.” He is an Italian opera singer, songwriter, tenor, and record producer. Since 1982, Bocelli has recorded 15 solo studio albums of both pop and classical music, three greatest hits albums, and nine complete operas, selling over 90 million records worldwide. He has had success as a crossover performer, bringing classical music to the top of international pop charts.
Music therapy quote #7 – Dr. Clive Robbins
“Almost all children respond to music. Music is an open-sesame, and if you can use it carefully and appropriately, you can reach into that child’s potential for development.”
Dr. Clive Robbins was a British music therapist, special needs educator, and co-founder of Nordoff-Robbins music therapy. The Nordoff-Robbins approach to music therapy was originally developed as a therapy for children with psychological, physical, or developmental disabilities. More information about Nordoff-Robbins music therapy here.
Music therapy quote #8 – Oliver Sacks
“Music can lift us out of depression or move us to tears – it is a remedy, a tonic, orange juice for the ear. But for many of my neurological patients, music is even more – it can provide access, even when no medication can, to movement, to speech, to life. For them, music is not a luxury, but a necessity.”
Dr. Oliver Sacks was a physician, best-selling author, and professor of neurology. He authored many books including Musicophilia, Awakenings, and The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat. Born in Britain, and mostly educated there, he spent his career in the United States. He believed that the brain is the “most incredible thing in the universe”. He became widely known for writing best-selling case histories about both his patients’ and his own disorders and unusual experiences, with some of his books adapted for plays by major playwrights, feature films, animated short films, opera, dance, fine art, and musical works in the classical genre.
Music therapy quote #9 – Dr. Kenneth Bruscia
“Songs express who we are and how we feel, they bring us closer to others, they keep us company when we are alone. They articulate our beliefs and values, and they bear witness to our lives. Songs weave tales of our joys and sorrows, they reveal our innermost secrets, and they express our hopes and disappointments, our fears and triumphs. They are our musical diaries, our life stories. They are the sounds of our personal development”.
Dr. Kenneth Bruscia is a world-renowned music therapist and music therapy author with many years of clinical expertise with diverse clientele. He is a Professor Emeritus at Temple University, where he taught since 1974. He also founded the bachelor’s, master’s and PhD degrees in music therapy there. Additionally, his interests in the world of music therapy are very diverse and has written about many topics. More info about Dr. Ken Bruscia here.
Music therapy quote #10 – Sam
“Music is one of my favorite things in the world. I listen to it all the time. It makes me feel good and it makes me groove. I love music it really makes me happy! Music makes me dance. It makes me feel like I can do anything. It motivates me to exercise when I don’t want to. [Music] makes me HAPPY when I’m sad and of all it makes me feel ALIVE.”
Sam was not a music therapist but she surely understood the power of music therapy better than anybody for she lived it and it touched her deeply. Learn about Sam’s story here.
There you have it! Ten music therapy quotes, or simply about music, for you! Are there any other music therapy quotes you would like to share with us? If so, write them in the comments!