Improvisational music therapy approaches to coma arousal

Sign up for our e-newsletter


Improvisational music therapy approaches to coma arousal


The use of music therapy in coma arousal has become increasingly important as music therapy interventions are refined. This article reviews various music therapy methods for coma arousal in particular, the application of improvisational music therapy for patients in altered states of consciousness. Clinical vignettes illustrate the goals of improvisational music therapy including, internal integration of physiological body rhythms, sensory stimulation and facilitation of communicative contact through music. The question of whether sensory stimulation is beneficial for people in coma is currently being debated in the medical literature. It is therefore of interest to music therapists to be aware of the prominent arguments in this debate and to have an understanding of how music therapy techniques can be employed to facilitate arousal and awareness.


Keywords: coma arousal; altered states of consciousness; improvisation


Tamplin, J. (2000). Improvisational music therapy approaches to coma arousal. Australian Journal of Music Therapy, 11, 38-51.

Download PDF
Date published: July 2000