Therapeutic approaches with at-risk youth need to be creative. The population demands it. At-risk youth are rarely going to swing by the therapists office after school for an hour a week and unpack their problems. Many deny that problems exist and are content with their risky behaviors. This population requires varied approaches to complex emotional/behavioral issues that allow them to find their voice in the process.
Robin Lane founded Songbird Sings, a non-profit organization dedicated to healing trauma through song writing and recording. The organization is working to link accredited instructors nation wide in attempt to give trauma survivors a voice. She is touring right now and for updated schedule information visit the Songbird Sings link above. It seems as though Songbird Sings targets trauma survivors across a range of ages, including at-risk youth.
Music is a great way to connect with at-risk youth. We have found that the guitars we have at PQ get ample attention, as the students will often play along side the field instructors. Further, students often connect with each other through the action of playing music. Just the other day I heard two students playing Eric Clapton while I was on the farm.
While I am not up to date on the research that exists in this area, I believe that many musicians would argue that playing music is soothing and inherently healing. Song writing is like putting poetry to beat. I have seen many students connect with poetry in their healing, finding a voice and sense of self.
I am glad for organizations such as Songbird Sings. Varied approaches to healing trauma are welcomed and needed!