The Battle of Heavy Metal versus Music Therapy

Brendan, in his 20’s from Rockhampton, is a talented singer passionate about heavy metal who has been fine tuning his vocals in music therapy.

For the past two years, Brendan has participated in Multicap’s Centre for Creative Arts (COCA) program at the Rockhampton Hub, and earlier this year recommenced music therapy via weekly online sessions.

Gaining some followers on TikTok, Brendan performs with an air guitar and when it comes to performing covers, he has a superpower that many musicians would envy.

“I know the words to more than 1600 songs but still love heavy metal the most!” Brendan said.

Energetic and full of enthusiasm, Brendan recently volunteered to perform to over 50 people at Multicap’s 60th Birthday celebration event under strict instruction from Multicap’s CEO Joanne Jessop to ‘avoid heavy metal’.

This is not the first time it has been suggested that Brendan avoid heavy metal, with family fearing he may be causing damage to his vocal cords.

It was two years ago when Brendan’s grandmother, Sandra, arranged music therapy for her grandson to correct bad singing habits, improve his singing skills, as well as develop healthy vocal hygiene.

Since recommencing sessions in March, Multicap Music Therapist, Queenie, has noticed a significant improvement in Brendan’s singing skills.

“He now has awareness of bad singing habits to avoid harming his vocal cords, and he can identify what songs are suitable for him to sing. His articulation is becoming clearer, and he is having interactive conversations. He has become more open to other types of music, possibly from the acknowledgement and praises he has received,” Queenie said.

Queenie explains that Brendan’s goals have shifted to focus on emotional awareness and expression, developing a personal singing style, and having discussions about the feelings and content of chosen songs.

Queenie looks forward to her sessions with Brendan, acknowledging that they have both learnt a lot.

“It is a pleasure to work with Brendan. He has developed and improved so much as a young musician. I like that Brendan is singing a wider repertoire and genuinely loves singing.

“He has taken me on a journey from having to learn metal music and skills for safe heavy metal singing, to now even liking metal music myself!” she said.

Brendan’s early music therapy lessons were adaptive singing lessons that focused on improving music skills. With the changing goals, they are now more typical music therapy sessions which focus on emotional expression through singing and discussions.

Music therapy sessions can also focus on non-musical goals such as developing social skills, communication skills, and motor skills, attention training or emotional regulation.

For more information about Multicap’s Music Therapy, visit our website or phone us on 1300 135 886.


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