Songs for your Music Therapy sessions

Have you ever needed to help a person find success on an instrument but realized that when you put your guitar down there would be no music to play to? Perhaps you needed the perfect song for an instrument pass in the key of G at 80 BPM?

Please use these songs in your sessions when you need to keep the music going but also need to help clients be successful with instruments. My personal fave is "Mellow in Cmaj." It works well with pitched percussion instruments in the key of C or Amin.

What is Music Therapy:

In my own words, music therapy is using music in therapy to help people realize their full potential. This can work individually or in a group. Music helps people be more comfortable around others, helps improve their thinking, helps people identify and express emotions and moods they are experiencing, helps them to become more self-aware and able to be a better version of themselves. It's about the people, not the music. 

A more comprehensive definition of music therapy:  

"Music Therapy is the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music therapy program.  

Music Therapy is an established health profession in which music is used within a therapeutic relationship to address physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs of individuals. After assessing the strengths and needs of each client, the qualified music therapist provides the indicated treatment including creating, singing, moving to, and/or listening to music. Through musical involvement in the therapeutic context, clients' abilities are strengthened and transferred to other areas of their lives. Music therapy also provides avenues for communication that can be helpful to those who find it difficult to express themselves in words. Research in music therapy supports its effectiveness in many areas such as: overall physical rehabilitation and facilitating movement, increasing people's motivation to become engaged in their treatment, providing emotional support for clients and their families, and providing an outlet for expression of feelings." - AMTA 


For this definition and more information please visit American Music Therapy Association 

Healthy People 2020 recently listed Music Therapy as a leading evidenced-based practice for treating depression.

Scott Garred, MT-BC

I am a Board-Certified Music Therapist with a Master's Degree in Counseling. I have been a musician for 35 years. My love of people and passion for writing songs, performing, and producing original music brought me to the music therapy profession in 2002.  

My interest in the mental health field started at the Oregon State Hospital upon receiving my Board-Certification in 2005. In addition to working in state hospitals, I have also worked in medical hospitals, prison, public schools, group homes, private homes, and memory care facilities. 

I also practiced in Australia from 2011 to 2015. I relocated to San Francisco in early 2015. 

Issues that concern me in the diverse Bay Area include homelessness, addictions and mental health, memory care, and any other barriers to leading a meaningful life. 

I grew up in a grocery store. My father taught me early on in life to help people find what they needed. He said, "Go help them locate it on the shelf. Help them find what they are looking for."  

One of my favorite songs to do in any session is "I still haven't found what I'm looking for" by the band, U2. That's when I get to remember my time in the grocery store and ask, "What can I help you find?"