Available at amazon.com in paperback $19.95
Kindle edition $9.80
Reviewed by Kayley Patterson, The Room 217 Foundation
Look at life as something to be enjoyed, and never be afraid to find the music that can help you express that. This is the theme of Jennifer Buchanans book Tune In published
by Hugo House and available at amazon.com in paperback and Kindle. Her
vision is simple: to encourage people to take full advantage of what
music has to offer.
The books main focus describes a 4 step
process of using music to intentionally curb stress, boost morale and
restore health. The writing style is narrative; a treasure trove of
real life stories she has experienced throughout her life as a music
therapist. Though some of these tales are heartbreaking, each one
provides inspiration and more often than not, a positive outcome
occurs due to a musical/auditory experience.
Tune In has the potential to be used as a Self-Help book. The instructional content is detailed and diagrams help to present material visually. Themes include: how to trigger ones own happiness, tips on how to hire a music therapist, and advice on how to find music that is suitable for an individual, as everybody has their own distinctive experiences and preferences. Tune In holds charts and step-by-step practical methods to develop ones own life soundtrack. Music as an unrivalled therapeutic entity which taps into life experiences and emotions is another major theme expressed through positive and negative triggers as music or sounds.
Two memorable parts for me were the authors own personal anecdotes in the opening section and the end notes, sincere snapshots relaying the impressionable relationship she had with her grandparents. Jennifer poignantly draws the reader into this relationship, especially her grandmother whom she admired fervently and who influenced her decision to become a music therapist.
Clients stories unfold,
representing a variety of age groups and circumstances. For instance,
Jennifer shares her experience of working with a group of incarcerated
boys, helping them to learn about themselves through musics positive
and negative effects. She describes working with a music therapy group
at a local hospital, creating a sing-along session amongst a group of
people she had least expected to sing together. She speaks of a man
with autism whose life has been filled with the same monotonous routine
for years until she introduces music into his life.
The book ends confidently, by means of a chapter entitled Live Life on a High Note: Finding Purpose through Music. The last chapter exudes positive energy and can be summed up in Jennifers own words: When
music speaks, we feel more relaxed about work, home, and life. When
music speaks we feel healthier. When music speaks, we are more connected
to those around us. The key is the intention and the love in which we
Tune In is highly recommended for
anybody interested in becoming acquainted with the possibilities and
potential applications of music and its therapeutic benefits and is
seeking to improve quality of life both for themselves and others.
About Kayley Patterson, BMus, is a freelance musician and works as in Resource Services at the Room 217 Foundation.