Adolescent Mental Health Toolbox


“What do music therapy sessions with adolescents look like? How do I build rapport with teens? Where do I start with interventions?” These are common questions shared by beginning and seasoned music therapists. Considering how many different populations exist within this demographic (along with the complex growth period of adolescence combined with multifaceted personal experiences and perspectives of each teen) it is challenging to provide simple answers to these questions. Adolescent Mental Health Toolbox: Empowering Music Therapists to Support Teens in Clinical and Community Settings aims to provide practical considerations and creative goal-oriented interventions when working with groups in a variety of settings, including youth who are part of:

  • Acute in-patient mental health units
  • Out-patient support groups
  • After-school programs
  • Support groups for specific needs (ADHD, home instability, complex family dynamics, foster care, etc.)
  • Struggling with substance use
  • Victims of violence or abuse
  • Music enrichment programs


These intervention ideas are thorough enough that they can be replicated exactly to create a successful therapeutic session, or they can be modified to incorporate any therapist’s unique artistic interpretation. Expand on interventions in order to create up to a one hour session of therapeutic support through music, or use two or more interventions interchangeably to create a multi-dynamic session that can accommodate hours of exceptional music therapy!

All MusicWorx Toolbox Self-Study Courses are approved by the CBMT for 15 Continuing Music Therapy Education ( CMTE ) credits. MusicWorx Inc., #P-097, maintains responsibility for program quality and adherence to CBMT policies and criteria.

CMTE credits are downloadable content.  Links to this content are included in your emailed receipt or found in your account!  Read More On CMTE Course Credits >

SKU CMTE-002 Category

What’s Inside This Toolbox

  • 94 single-sided pages with related links to handouts, lyrics, outlines, articles, and resources
  • User-friendly digital format – Just click a title or link to jump to that page!
  • Introduction and considerations to working with adolescents
  • Five broad goal areas with six types to make up 30 interventions targeted for adolescents
  • Written in a format for groups, but easily adaptable for individual sessions
  • Virtual adaptations to EVERY intervention!
  • Sample documentation and tips for program development
  • Recommendations of popular songs and topics for lyric analysis with teens


  • How to Use This Toolbox
  • Teen Toolbox Nuts and Bolts
  • Considerations for Teens Session
  • Types of Interventions
  • GOAL: Emotional
    • Active Music Making: Play That Emotion 
    • Songwriting: Black-Out Poetry
    • Music and Movement: Shake It Out
    • Creative Expression: Mansion
    • Mindfulness: Music and Emotions
    • Leisure: Emotions Bingo
  • GOAL: Social and Communication
    • Active Music Making: Create a Band
    • Songwriting: Cut-Ups
    • Music and Movement: Zip-Zap-Zop – Body Percussion
    • Creative Expression: Song Columns Poetry/Rap
    • Mindfulness: Music Mindfulness
    • Leisure: Musical Telephone
  • GOAL: Cognitive 
    • Active Music Making: Learning an Instrument
    • Songwriting: Madlibs
    • Music and Movement: Egg Shaker Pass
    • Creative Expression: Song Title Mash-Up
    • Mindfulness: To Play or Not to Play?
    • Leisure: Make a Musician
  • GOAL: Identity and Awareness
    • Active Music Making: Beach Ball Autonomy
    • Songwriting: Social Stamina
    • Music and Movement: Dance Flow
    • Creative Expression: Warrior
    • Mindfulness: HUMS Music Assessment
    • Leisure: Egg Shaker Toss
  • GOAL: Coping and Self-Care
    • Active Music Making: Karaoke
    • Songwriting: Garageband Beats
    • Music and Movement: Proprioceptive Input
    • Creative Expression: Personal Album Artwork
    • Mindfulness: Mental Vacation
    • Leisure: The Alphabet Challenge
  • Intervention Index
  • Documentation
  • Music Resources and Song List
  • About the Authors
  • References

Additional information

15 CMTE Credits

Included, Not included


PDF, Spiral-Bound Print


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