Music Improvisation is a process where the client and the therapist create music in the moment together to express the client’s current emotions. Musical improvisation can be through singing or playing, extemporaneously creating a melody, rhythm, song, or instrumental piece. Individual improvisation is a popular method to use with teenagers because it is one of the purest ways of working towards understanding, acceptance, and development and can foster their own identity formation.

Drumming is another popular music technique that can be used for musical improvisations with adolescents and is particularly effective in groups. The therapist or group facilitator can encourage improvisation by holding a steady beat while group members play any rhythm, style, and dynamic they would like. In keeping a steady beat, the facilitator grounds the improvisation and creates the space for creative emotional expression.

Rhythmic improvisation involves playing a variety of instruments at once to create a blended sound. It can also be used for identification and expression of emotions. Here is a good example of what rhythmic improve can look like in an individual session:


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