By Barbara L. Wheeler, Carol L. Shultis, Donna W. Polen

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Improvisational assessments are particularly appropriate for people who have trouble expressing themselves verbally, for those with identity and self-awareness issues, for interpersonal and communication problems, and for those who lack spontaneity (Bruscia, 1993). Performing or Re-Creating Assessments Performing or re-creating assessments are concerned with assessing the ways in which the "client learns or performs vocal or instrumental music, or reproduces any kind of sound form or musical pattern presented as a model" (Bruscia, 1993, p.

The assessment procedure requires the music therapist to design activities in which these skills can be observed and assessed. Numerous other skill assessments have been developed, including Nordoff and Robbins' (1971) 13 categories of musical response and Boone's (1980) Diagnostic Assessment of Music Related Expression and Behavior (DAMREB). The section on task analysis in Chapter 6, Planning Music Therapy Strategies, can help you to further understand the kind of procedural thinking necessary to take a series of random or unconnected skills and behaviors and weave them into a meaningful and beneficial experience of skill development for your clients.

All of these, of course, are aimed at developing a session that is most profitable for your clients. The result will be a session in which the goals are appropriate to meet the needs of your clients, and the procedures that you use are both appropriate to the goals for the clients and congruent with your values, skills, and knowledge. Before exploring personal beliefs and values, though, it is important to have a context for understanding the client. Underlying all work in therapy is a sense of who the client is, why he or she has entered a therapy relationship, and what the outcome of that therapy is intended to be.

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