Music of the Soul: Composing Life Out of Loss

Music of the Soul: Composing Life Out of Loss

by Joy S. Berger

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Music of the Soul guides the reader through principles, techniques, and exercises for incorporating music into grief counseling, with the end goal of further empowering the grieving person.

Music has a unique ability to elicit a whole range of powerful emotional responses in people - even so far as altering or enhancing one's mood - as well as physical reactions. This interdisciplinary text draws in equal parts from contemporary grief/loss theory, music therapy research, historical examples of powerful music, case studies, and both self-reflecting and teaching exercises. Music is as much about beginnings as endings, and thus the book moves through life’s losses into its new beginnings, using musical expression to help the bereaved find meaning in loss and hurt, and move forward with their lives. With numerous exercises and examples for implementing the use of music in grief counseling, the book offers a practical and flexible approach to a broad spectrum of mental health practitioners, from thanatologists to hospice staff, at all levels of professional training and settings.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781136915147
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Publication date: 10/12/2012
Series: Series in Death, Dying, and Bereavement
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 240
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

Joy S. Berger, FT, DMA, BCC, MT-BC is the Director of Education at the Hospice Education Network (HEN),, where she ensures that the Hospice Education Network remains at the forefront in developing innovative solutions and services to meet the educational needs of hospice and palliative care professionals nation-wide. She is a recipient of the National Heart of Hospice Award for Psychosocial/Spiritual Care by the National Council of Hospice & Palliative Professionals. Dr. Berger is a Fellow in Thanatology® (Association for Death Education and Counseling), Doctor of Musical Arts (piano performance), with board certifications as a chaplain (Association of Professional Chaplains) and music therapist (Certification Board for Music Therapists). The author can be found on the web at  and

Table of Contents

Preface. Music of the Soul - Composing Life Out of Loss. It’s About Life. Music of the Soul Terminology and Metaphors. Composing Life in the Midst of Loss. Rhythms of Body and Soul. Rhythms of Body and Soul. Body Rhythms. Soul Rhythms. Pausing and Pacing and Pushing On. Signals for Action (or Rest). Music for Pain Relief: Body and Soul. Rhythms of the Soul for Being in and Moving Through Loss. Music for Grief’s Seasons of the Soul. There is a Time. Themes and Counterthemes of Life Stories. Life-stories Stirred by Sounds. Themes and Counterthemes. Diminishing Dementia: Relating with Memories Through Music. Your Life-story’s Tunes and Tales. Harmonies and Dissonances of Healing. Life’s Harmonic Progressions. Life’s Dissonant Changes. Healing Grief: Hearing its Dissonances and Harmonies. Healing and Wellness. Styles of Doing and Being. Know Your Styles for Doing Life. Music as a Catalyst for Being in Loss More Fully. Music Moment: A Doing and Being Commemoration. Expressions of Self and Community. Ricky’s Rhyme for this Time. Music’s Expressive Powers. Personal Expressions: Children and Teens. Community Expressions. Global Expressions. Ode to Expressions of the Soul. The Final Cadence. Music of the Soul at Life’s End. Final Cadence Endings. More Final Cadences. Music with the Dying. Core Principles: Care, Ownership, Respect, Empowerment. Physical, Psychosocial, and Spiritual Care. Final Moments. Composing Life Out of Loss. Life’s Endings and Beginnings – Life’s Mourning and Morning. Music of Morning. Music of the Soul for Composing Life Out of Loss. Appendix A: Through the Ages: A Timeline of Western Grief Music. Appendix B: My Music Menu. Appendix C: Keyboard Quality of Life: "Highs" and "Lows." Appendix D: My Do-Be-Do-Be’s. Appendix E: CORE Principles (Being) and HEALing Techniques (Doing). Teaching Guides. Books and Articles. Scores, Recordings and Videos.

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