by SarahRose Black, MMT, MTA, RP, CKN Music & Creative Therapies Editor
Whether I am discussing music with friends, family, patients or colleagues, a consistent trend seems to emerge. What we prefer is closely linked to our associations. When we associate a song with a particular time in our lives, that same song tends to hold ongoing significance. Perhaps a song that was played during a first dance at a wedding continues to bring up very vivid memories and feelings. A song from a childhood experience (perhaps a caregiver’s soothing voice before falling asleep) may continue to provide comfort and support well into adulthood. Often, a sequence or combination of songs can elicit a pattern of feelings, or an emotional arc taking us from one mood to another, or holding us steadily in a specific affective experience for an extended period of time.