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Using GarageBand in Music Therapy

Updated: Feb 12, 2021

The use of music-making softwares and technical devices has become more popular in the Music Therapy community in the last decade (1). While most sessions I conducted involve improvisation using 'traditional' musical instruments, technical resources can enhance clients experience in Music Therapy, especially in online sessions. In this blog post, we will look at how GarageBand (iPad version) can support Music Therapy sessions and the practical steps I used to incorporate the app in online sessions via Zoom (as promised in previous post).


How does GarageBand support Music Therapy clients?

Beat Sequencer on GarageBand

1. Lightweight, easy to carry

While an iPad is not the cheapest device, it is a lot easier to transport and clean comparing to a full set of instruments. For organisations and homes with limited funding and little space, getting an iPad equipped with virtual instruments may be a better option than to purchase a full set of musical instruments.

Smart Guitar on GarageBand

2. Accessible for a wide range of clients

GarageBand's virtual instruments respond to tapping, sliding and dragging motions on the screen making the app accessible for clients with limited mobility. The virtual instruments in the app also have a 'smart' function where the users can choose to play pitches from chosen chords.

R&B live loops on GarageBand

3. Relatable to clients interested in music technology