High School students experience the healing power of song

January 29, 2010

Arts and Quality of Life Center helps youth cope with stress through creativity

By Jazmyn Burton

It’s nearly dismissal time at Carson Valley High School, and students at the Flourtown alternative education school begin to stream for the exits. But one group of young women remains behind. Gathering in an empty classroom, they form a loose semicircle and, accompanied by acoustic guitar, begin to sing.

Photo by Betsy Manning/Temple University Participants in the “Hear Our Voices” program at Carson Valley High School learn to express their emotions through written lyrics and song.

The girls are participants in the Hear Our Voices program, an innovative music therapy project developed at Temple that aims to promote positive attitudes and behaviors in at-risk youth. Through creativity and song, participants learn to express their emotions in a healthy way.

“Music evokes emotion through a non-threatening medium,” said Mike Viega, a Ph.D. candidate in the Boyer College of Music and Dance. “Music speaks to one’s experiences, challenges, passions, fears and hopes. It also breaks down resistance and allows therapists to address emotions and behaviors that might not be as accessible through traditional therapy approaches.”

Visit Temple’s Newsroom to read the full story

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