Music as a Psychotherapeutic Agent: Its Use in the Recreation Program at Pilgrim State Hospital West Brentwood, New York, 1962
The scene is a large mental hospital. About sixty female patients are assembled for their weekly group singing session. The women are quiet and passive; only now and then is there any deviation from this, and which goes unnoticed for the most part. The music instructor, in surveying the groups’ response to the activity, finds that most of the women are happily participating. An occasional patient sits mutely, possibly listening with enjoyment, or possibly unable to leave her world of unreality, but these women may join in later with some encouragement. As the hour progresses, more of the patients take part in the singing, and with less inhibition and restraint. A variety of songs are sung—slow and fast songs, and popular and oldtime favorite songs. The music instructor announces some of the songs to be sung, and patients request their favorite songs. One patient, who has not been participating to any extent, informs the instructor that she can play the piano. The woman is invited to accompany the group for several songs, and when she returns to her place, she receives praise from her neighbors. Another patient, a former professional singer, volunteers to sing a solo. The group receives her very well, listen attentively and appreciatively.
Social work|Social research|Mental health|Music therapy
Dinehart, Elizabeth, "Music as a Psychotherapeutic Agent: Its Use in the Recreation Program at Pilgrim State Hospital West Brentwood, New York, 1962" (1962). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI30725050.