Functions as a primer and an ice-breaker or warm-up

When commencing a session where the clinician intends to introduce songwriting approaches that demand substantial musical and lyrical input from the songwriter, starting the session with an FITB or parody can focus the songwriters and prime them (Klauer & Musch, 2003) cognitively and emotionally for the issues to be addressed during the remainder of the session. The FITB or parody process may bring emotions, memories, and thoughts that were hidden in the unconscious or pre-conscious into conscious awareness. The songwriters may identify with the lyrics and/or be emotionally aroused by the music and then adapt the song to express their own needs and context. This process primes them for a deeper exploration through the creation of an original song.

Example of song parody

Figure 9.4 Example of song parody

Source: Baker, 2005, p. 156. Reprinted with permission from Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Demystifies the songwriting process

Because the very thought of creating a song can be anxiety-provoking for those who view themselves as non-musicians (Baker & MacDonald, 2013b), demystifying the often perceived notion that songwriting is only for the talented may be needed. FITB, parody, and strategic songwriting can function as preparation for original songwriting by illustrating that, with the support of a therapist, anyone can create a song that has personal meaning (even if it isn't a hit!). The safety and predictability of the predetermined song structure and the minimal effort required to replace a finite number of words or lyrics removes some of the trepidation associated with engaging in an unknown activity. Songwriters become comfortable with songwriting as a method by experiencing the self-exploration process and the subsequent transformation of their thoughts, feelings, experiences, and stories into meaningful lyrics.

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