This is the month of music therapy reviews! Last week, I shared with you my review of Jodi Picoult’s new book, Sing You Home (and I invite you to check it out–especially the insightful comments others shared!).
This week, I share with you my review of the almost-released movie The Music Never Stopped.
Review of The Music Never Stopped
This movie is based on the story “The Last Hippie” that was published in Oliver Sacks’s 1995 book An Anthropologist On Mars. The music therapy community is super excited about this movie because, even though the story isn’t about music therapy, one of the main characters IS a music therapist!
As a “general movie-goer,” I thought the movie was superb. I laughed. I cried. The acting was wonderful and the music credits at the end extensive 🙂
I also appreciated how “low-tech” the movie was. So many modern movies feature high-tech computer and digital help…which is entertaining in it’s own way. But it was also nice to have a break from that.
As a music therapist, I was highly pleased with how music therapy was portrayed. I was concerned going into it because the story takes place in the mid-1980s. And, although I was a little girl and didn’t yet know about this fabulous field I would enter, I can guess that music therapy practice was a little different 25 years ago!
Yet I thought the description given by the music therapist in the movie (portrayed by the lovely Julia Ormond) was current and accurate. Whether that’s how it was described in the original story or not, it worked as a description for now. Which is important given that this may be the first time thousands of movie-goers have even heard of music therapy!
The only downside is that a lot of recorded music was used in the movie. And, as any music therapist these days knows, live music is much preferred over recorded music. That said, most of the recorded music wasn’t used by the music therapist–it was about a 50-50 split of live music and recorded music when “music therapy” was portrayed.
A final note of appreciation–as a therapist, I was grateful that the movie portrayed the whole family being involved in the main character’s treatment. No client or patient can go it alone and it takes a support system of people helping him/her. This movie showed us that.
All in all, I thought The Music Never Stopped gave a fair and accurate portrayal of music therapy. This will be a nice introduction to the field for hundreds, if not thousands, of moviegoers. And as an added bonus, it’s an overall wonderful movie!
Please check out the website for The Music Never Stopped to see if it’s coming to a theater near you.
P.S. Apparently music therapists aren’t the only ones who are protective of our passion. I got a big kick out of the Grateful Dead fans who were analyzing whether the concert in the movie accurately portrayed a real-live Dead concert 🙂