Shout-Out! Book Review in Psychology of Music

Book review: International Perspectives in Music Therapy and Training: Adapting to a Changing World. By Karen D. Goodman

Book Review by James E. Riley

International Perspectives in Music Therapy and Training: Adapting to a Changing World, a new collection of essays edited by Professor Karen D. Goodman, provides an illuminating exploration into many great programs, experiences, and concepts from beyond the Western world, traveling to where music therapy is lighting up on the map.

“Goodman’s 264-page tome marries her own insights with those of her contemporaries from around the world.  The book’s title aptly summarizes Goodman’s thesis: Music therapists from around the world articulate several perspectives on either the changing field of music therapy or the preparation of music therapy students.” Continue reading online at


Simple Blues Songwriting

Writing songs is easy! One especially simple technique builds on the 12-bar blues pattern: I-I-I-I – IV-IV-I-I – V-IV-I-I.

The blues can accompany anything, such as an interactive hello song: “Hello Erin, how are you today?” can be sung over I-I-I-I; “Alright now hello Erin, is anything new today?” over IV-IV-I-I; and “Well it’s really good to see you, I’m glad you’re here today!” atop the concluding V-IV-I-I. You can sing, or help your clients

You can also sing, or help your clients create, their own song. Start with one phrase, repeat it, and sing an answer. That’s it! This AAB pattern matches the blues progression. For example, here’s a little blues tune: “Sometimes I feel a little lonely. Sometimes, I feel a little lonely. But when I do, I call my friends and family.” This approach to songwriting is a lot of fun because it allows so much room for creativity. It’s fun to see clients discover how easy and rewarding the process can be. The simple AAB structure can be used to present an issue and address it. It can mirror dialogue between a child and their parent. How else will you use the blues? Let us know what else you innovate!