Technology for MT’s: GarageBand: Technology to Facilitate Clients in Creating Innovative Musical Pieces

By Rebecca Vaudreuil, MT-BC, Neurologic Music Therapist

GarageBand is a software application for Mac operating systems, including your iPad, that allows you to create music or podcasts. It is developed by Apple Inc. as a part of the iLife software. GarageBand is extremely user-friendly, making it an ideal software program for music therapy, enabling clients to use as facilitated by a music therapist, as well as independently.

GarageBand offers its users capabilities to sequence internal sound clips and pre-recorded loops to create unique compositions. GarageBand can be used as a recording program to record live music from a variety of instruments and layer different tracks to create purely original compositions. GarageBand can also import mp3s, wav’s and other audio files to manipulate and allow users to create samples from preferred music.

Neurologic Music Therapy Intervention Ideas and Music Therapy Testimony:

Creating Original Compositions to Accompany Live Drum Set Playing

NMT Techniques: Therapeutic Instrumental Music Performance (TIMP)


I have been working with a client who has undergone double trans-tibial amputations on both legs and sustained a traumatic brain injury, but has shown great interest in playing the drum set. He has not previously played the drums and does not read rhythmic notation. By sequencing drum set music, part-by-part in garage band, the client is able to hear an accurate progression made by different parts of the drum kit, match them to the actual pieces of the full set, and then play back in real time. This intervention provides simultaneous bilateral movement of upper and lower extremities as well as exercises and reinforces cognition in the area of auditory recall.

Once the client became acclimated on the drum set, he was able to create original music that he played along to the rhythm of the music he produced.  Using GarageBand, the client was able to invent music that he has a strong preferential connection with, therefore enhancing the overall experience when he played the drum set along to his original composition.


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