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Music Therapy with Adolescent Populations


“What do music therapy sessions with adolescents look like?” is a common, yet incredibly challenging question among music therapists.  Considering how many different populations exist within the adolescent demographic, it is unlikely that two sessions look alike. MusicWorx Toolbox: Music Therapy with Adolescent Populations, Second Edition provides potential goal areas, various intervention ideas within several mediums, examples of sample lyrics, and processing themes tested with a variety of teen populations, including youth who are:

  • after-school program participants
  • diagnosed with developmental disabilities
  • in support groups (HIV / AIDS, cancer, juvenile arthritis)
  • justice-involved
  • music enrichment program participants
  • seeking sexual health (Planned Parenthood)
  • struggling with substance abuse
  • victims of violence


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 each intervention listed under the session plans in order to create up to one hour of equivalent topic therapeutic musical exercises, or use two or more interventions interchangeably to create a multi-dynamic session that can accommodate hours of exceptional music therapy!

Second Edition (2019).

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

SKU: CMTE-002 Category:

What’s Inside This Toolbox

  • 91 single-sided pages
  • 23 digital files for colorful handouts, including songs, articles, book lists
  • 12 detailed sessions
  • 6 MP3 background tracks and original songs
  • 3 workshop session plans
  • Digital form download (included with CMTEs)
  • Nuts and bolts
  • Teen session considerations
  • Resource lists for expanded knowledge and repertoire


  • Using This Toolbox
  • Toolbox Nuts and Bolts
  • Session Considerations
  • Types of Interventions
  • Session 1: Introductory Session
  • Session 2: Just Girls
  • Session 3: Just Guys
  • Session 4: Movin’, Groovin’, and Jimi Hendrix
  • Session 5: Song Title Mash-Up
  • Session 6: Music and Movement
  • Session 7: Music for Social Awareness
  • Session 8: Sexual Health and Awareness
  • Session 9: I Am . . . Not a Stereotype
  • Session 10: Substance Abuse
  • Session 11: Music-Centered Support Group
  • Session 12: You’ve Got a Voice—Use It!
  • Three 90-Minute Workshop Session Plans
  • Documentation
  • Program Development
  • Songs for Lyric Analysis
  • Additional Resources

Learning Objectives

References to items on the Board Certification Domains are based on the Practice Analysis Study of 2019. Those registered for MusicWorx Toolbox: Music Therapy with Adolescent Populations, Second Edition will develop or improve their abilities to help others express themselves through active music-making, writing songs, and by analyzing lyrics. Participants will learn these skills for group settings and individual work.

MusicWorx Toolbox: Music Therapy with Adolescent Populations, Second Edition addresses these specific competencies in the current Board Certification Domains:

Learning Objective 1
2020 Domains:
I. 1-3 | I. 7 | II. A. 3 | II. D. 8

Describe three things that are necessary to helping a teen feel safe in a session.
I. Safety
II. Referral, Assessment, Interpretation of Assessment and Treatment Planning

Learning Objective 2
2020 Domains:
II. D. 2 | III. A. 5 (i)

Create five ideas for appropriate rap / songwriting themes for teens.
II. Referral, Assessment, Interpretation of Assessment and Treatment Planning
III. Treatment Implementation and Documentation

Learning Objective 3
2020 Domains:
III. A. 5 (a-hh)

Design one music-appreciation session plan based on a self-chosen music icon.
III. Treatment Implementation and Documentation

Learning Objective 4
2020 Domains:
III. A. 5 (i, l, p, u, y, bb)

Select five songs for teenagers and create ten questions to help clients process the song.
III. Treatment Implementation and Documentation

About The Author

Noelle Pederson, BA, MT–BC

Noelle is a board-certified music therapist and received her baccalaureate degree from the University of North Dakota. Noelle serves as the lead therapist and director for program development for both MusicWorx Inc. and Resounding Joy Inc. Working with teenagers has always been a passion for Noelle. She has worked with a variety of teen populations in numerous settings including psychiatric hospitals, probation programs, after-school workshops, Planned Parenthood sessions, support groups, gang-violence groups, and teen mothers and their babies.

Additional information

15 CMTE Credits

Included, Not included

User Reviews

I really enjoyed completing the assignments in this course. I definitely will be taking another course through MusicWorx in the future... great content, useful information, and session plans.

Richard Cross | April 2013

The class was very great, and I learned a lot by a lot of research. I wasn't proficient in rap songs, and now I feel like a semi-pro on the history of rap and the uses for it! I'm excited to use these things I learned in my sessions!

Kelly West, MT–BC | November 2012