Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education


Music Therapy

First Advisor

Dr. Suzanne Sorel


The use of songs in music therapy with persons with traumatic brain injury (TBI) has many facets and applications in rehabilitation. Analyses of lyrics, song construct, and song choice have been examined with persons with TBI in coma states and early post-coma recovery, but more research is needed that focuses on what occurs when songs in therapy are introduced at a later point in TBI recovery. This narrative inquiry examined the therapeutic relevance of melody, rhythm, and song structure in songs for a woman with TBI from a 3-year period of weekly music therapy sessions. The participants in this study included the music therapy client (a woman with TBI in her mid-30s receiving music therapy for the first time 11 years post-injury), her art therapist, her primary care aide, and her mother. All participants were chosen by purposive sampling. Detailed therapist notes, recordings of therapy sessions, and interview dialogue provide the data for the study. Song lyrics and musical constructs were examined using detailed transcriptions of songs used in therapy. Results of this study may be used to inform music therapists on the effect of songs used in therapy with persons with TBI when music therapy is introduced a number of years after the injury.

Related Pillar(s)


Included in

Music Therapy Commons