CMTE Spotlight

CMTE U – Songwriting: Tips and Tools for Effectively Using Original Composition Within Group Therapy takes place on Thursday, November 21st – 1:30pm-6:30pm and is presented by Lindsey A. Holmes, MT-BC & Katy Capestrani, MT-BC.

Register for this session here.


Lindsey and Katy tell us more:

What will you be sharing?

Throughout our session, we’ll explore a variety of techniques, some music-based and some not, to engage clients in the songwriting process.  Emphasis will be placed on songwriting within group therapy.  We’ll take participants through a progression of songwriting interventions, beginning with the most basic, structured format and moving toward completely original client composition.  Plenty of time will be reserved for samples of our clinical work, group discussion and experiential.  The ultimate goal will be for small groups to use our steps to create their own original composition within the timeframe of the session.

What is your experience with this topic?

Throughout the course of Katy’s internship, we worked to develop a 12-week songwriting program.  The reason for doing this was that we both agreed songwriting was something we didn’t get much experience in during our undergrad work, and we definitely didn’t feel 100% confident in using songwriting with clients.  That being said, we also recognize the power of songwriting as an intervention.  So we set to work to develop our skills, and the program we’ll be sharing in our CMTE is the result of this work.  This program incorporates songwriting components that had previously been successful for each of us, discovered and refined through trial and error within a songwriting group. We incorporated a lot of resources that helped us feel more comfortable with utilizing songwriting. Using some established songwriting procedures, we adapted them to our own needs as music therapists working in a group setting, and found that we were able to guide a group of very different, independent, and uniquely symptomatic into writing successful, meaningful, and cohesive songs. It’s a program that we continue to use in both of our practices, and is something that we are proud to share with others.

Capestrani and HolmesWhere will attendees be able to implement the information you share?

The majority of our work is done within the group setting, most specifically within an inpatient forensic and acute psychiatric setting.  This program is specifically geared toward group work, but can, and has, been easily adapted for smaller groups and 1:1 sessions. Chances to brainstorm adaptations to your own individualized populations will occur throughout the duration of the session. The attendees will be able to immediately leave the session, head to group, and have detailed session plans and templates ready for use.

Tell us something that makes your CMTE unique or different.

We’re most proud of the resources we’ve developed for this program.  Each attendee will be provided with detailed session plans and templates that can be easily reproduced and quickly referenced for session planning.  This means each participant will leave the session with a access to a full 12-week songwriting program.   In addition to the handouts, we find that our experientials and client samples are a unique part of our program.  We believe that experientials are an important part of not only learning, but also to staying attentive! 5 hours is a long time to sit through lectures, so having the opportunity to break it up with several experientials makes the session much faster and enjoyable.   It also allows each attendee to really grasp the concepts we’re referring to.  The client samples referenced will help paint a deeper picture of how these procedures can result in very meaningful work with clients.  Our session may also be unique in that we tend to tell very bad (read: not that funny) jokes when we’re nervous. 🙂

Why is this topic of interest to you?

Through a review of the literature, as well as through personal discussion, we’ve found that songwriting can be incredibly intimidating to music therapists, especially those new to the field. It’s an integral part of what we do as therapists, but can be incredibly overwhelming if it’s not broken down in an easy-to-understand, easy-to-facilitate, and encouraging fashion.

Who should attend your class?

This session would be beneficial to anyone who has even the slightest doubt about their ability to use songwriting in therapy.  It can be beneficial for everyone, from the newest MT-BC to the most seasoned professional.

We can’t wait to see you in Florida!

CMTE U – Songwriting: Tips and Tools for Effectively Using Original Composition Within Group Therapy takes place on Thursday, November 21st – 1:30pm-6:30pm and is presented by Lindsey A. Holmes, MT-BC & Katy Capestrani, MT-BC.

Register for this session here.

One thought on “#AMTA13 CMTE Spotlight –
Songwriting: Tips and Tools for Effectively Using Original Composition Within Group Therapy

  1. Songwriting is a huge topic. There are no right or wrong ways to approach the subject, and there are an infinite number of ways to do so. However, many songwriters choose to approach songwriting in the same manner that they approached all of their previous songs with.

    Jason@VanEman

Leave a Comment