What 'Empire' Got Right (And Wrong) About Music Therapy

March 19, 2015 8:45 PM

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What 'Empire' Got Right (And Wrong) About Music Therapy

Perhaps one of the most stirring and sympathetic characters in Fox’s hit show “Empire" is Andre, who suffers from Bipolar disorder. In case you’ve been living under a rock for the past three months and haven’t watched the hottest TV show of 2015, here’s a quick recap of Andre’s situation: the oldest son of a music conglomerate CEO vies for power over the company he helped build, but between all the pressure (and betrayal, and violence, and lack of love and support), as well as his attempts to keep a lid on his emotions, Andre eventually flushes his meds down the toilet, precipitating a mental breakdown and entry into an in-patient therapy program. That’s where he meets Michelle White, a lovely and talented music therapist played by Jennifer Hudson.

Certain members of the Lyon family (cough-Cookie!-cough) express skepticism about music therapy, and there’s no doubt that Andre’s status as the “talentless” son who can’t sing doesn’t help things, either. But the show’s depiction of music therapy, along with the peace that Andre experiences at the ...

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