Imagine a world where
you can walk up to your computer, search for any song
and immediately begin listening. Imagine iTunes,
but no purchase required– only an internet connection. This is Spotify; the future of
It sounds too good to be true– but the only “catch” is occasional 5-30 second breaks
for commercials. Don’t like the commercials? Pay $10 a month to get rid of them.
This 30 cents a day will also give you Spotify on your phone/iPad, higher sound quality,
and the ability to “cache” music to your computer so you can listen without
Now, not everything is on Spotify. As with any other legal streaming site, artists choose
to not make their music available. (For example, the Beatles are not on Spotify.)
But, most music is available, and you can also access your personal iTunes files
inside the Spotify application on your computer and combine both your local and streamed
music in playlists.
Playlist limitation: one cannot burn CDs. (This makes sense, if you think about
general copyright rules). Playlists must be played from your device. BUT you CAN
SHARE playlists and songs, create “collaborative playlists”, and “follow” playlists
(receiving updates when a song is added).
For me it’s more than a fun gadget. It’s an essential tool.
I use Spotify for:
1) Learning Repertoire (How does that James Taylor song go again?)
2) Discovering New Artists/Music (Completely risk free! You can try
3) Sharing with and Learning from Friends/Colleagues (What music
moves YOU? What music do you wake up to in the morning? What do your friends
listen to when they’re trying to go to sleep?)
Anytime I need pre-recorded music in a music therapy session, I use Spotify. More
specifically, I use it for:
1) Building Rapport — I can find and listen to my client’s favorite
music within seconds, and at no extra cost (especially useful at facilities where
YouTube is blocked).
2) Relaxation Interventions – Selections can be quickly retrieved from your
self-designed relaxation playlist (One may want to consider removal of ads in this
3) Lyric Analysis/Songwriting – Plug, play, discuss, create. (Believe it or not,
Spotify also has an app that will show you the lyrics in-time as the song plays.)
4) When I Can’t Play It — Sometimes it’s just better to let the recorded
music do that 80’s music justice.
Below is my Breathe The Stress Away
playlist. To listen and experience musical freedom, check out SPOTIFY!
(Note: to listen to this playlist, you will have to have a Spotify account and have
downloaded the application. Check out the website to get started- it’s worth the
trouble of registration!)