Date of Award

Spring 5-20-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

MA - Master of Arts


Expressive Therapies


Rebecca Zarate


This thesis explores how clinical improvisation in music therapy can be a benefit for adolescents who are considered “in between” placements. The method was created for youth who are residing at an emergency shelter with limited therapeutic services. Drawing inspiration from Juliette Alvin and free improvisation in music therapy, facilitating a low expectation, non-required, and varied instrumentation choice music therapy group may be beneficial for this population. A method was created to provide a free play music therapy group for “in between” youth ages 13- 17 at an emergency shelter with a variety of racial and cultural backgrounds and identities. I was fortunate to discover personal growth in improvisational skills, how familiar melodies appear repeatedly, and adolescents enjoy being able to play instruments without any restraints or qualifications. This method appears to be a beneficial aspect of an emergency shelter programming schedule and can be adapted to meet the needs of the youth being served.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.




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