Alexander Crooke

Alexander Crooke
University of Melbourne | MSD · Melbourne Conservatorium of Music

PhD

About

34
Publications
14,247
Reads
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673
Citations
Additional affiliations
February 2020 - March 2020
University of Melbourne
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Description
  • A three year international study investigating the phenomenon of Intercultural Music Engagement, and its impact on empathy, social cohesion and community resilience.
September 2015 - present
University of Melbourne
Position
  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow; Project Manager
Description
  • Three year ethnographic study of the school-based elements that enable the successful engagement in and sustainability of school-base arts programs. Funded by an Australian Research Council Linkage Grant
February 2012 - present
University of Melbourne
Position
  • Research support; Sessional lecturing
Education
February 2012 - February 2015
University of Melbourne
Field of study
  • Music Therapy; Social and Political Science
March 2008 - November 2008
La Trobe University
Field of study
  • Sociology; Anthropology; Political Science
March 2001 - August 2006
Australian Catholic University
Field of study
  • Sociology; Behavioural Science

Publications

Publications (34)
Article
Full-text available
Increasing pressures to justify the value of music in schools over recent decades has led to the construction of three distinct areas of benefits: intrinsic (or musical) benefits, extrinsic benefits related to academic and/or cognitive development, and extrinsic benefits related to psychosocial wellbeing. While some argue these categories have been...
Article
Full-text available
While policy-based advocacy for music in schools has previously focused on arguments for cognitive and academic benefits, scholars have increasingly critiqued this rationale. Such critique is now reflected in Australian policy documentation, which now emphasises psychosocial benefits as the most notable non-musical advantage of student music partic...
Article
Full-text available
While music therapy courses rarely cover the finer points of social policy, a basic knowledge of how this system of governance works can be highly beneficial for those wanting to maximise their presence and impact in a given field. Taking an ecological approach, this article presents how music therapy as a discipline and practice can be seen as loc...
Article
Full-text available
The potential for music programs to promote psychosocial wellbeing in mainstream schools is recognised in both policy and research literature. Despite this recognition, there is a dearth of consistent research evidence supporting this link. Authors attribute this lack of consistent evidence to limitations in the areas of research design and method,...
Article
Full-text available
Aims: To explore and identify the barriers and enablers of music provision in Australian schools, as seen through the eyes of four Melbourne-based school principals, to inform policymakers and other school leadership teams. Study Design: The study used an exploratory design. Place and Duration of Study: Interviews were undertaken across multiple s...
Article
Full-text available
A number of popular theories about trauma have suggested rhythm has potential as a mechanism for regulating arousal levels. However, there is very little literature examining this proposal from the perspective of the young people who might benefit. This action research project addresses this gap by collaborating with four groups of children in the...
Article
Full-text available
In the current education climate, Australian schools are encouraged to provide arts programs, yet there is little dedicated funding for provision and leadership must balance resource allocation with other curriculum and policy priorities. To determine how best to support school leaders in this area, we undertook a three-year project with local indu...
Article
As COVID-19-driven lockdowns and social distancing became the new normal in 2020, musicians experienced a reshuffling of their social networks. This article uses in-depth interviews with nine community arts practitioners in Australia, Norway and the United States to explore the impact of COVID-19 on their ability to practise, collaborate and connec...
Article
Arts programs are increasingly recognized for their role in promoting student development and cohesive school communities. Yet, most Australian schools are left to navigate a landscape characterized by shifting policy goals and external providers of diverse quality and intent. Drawing on interviews with 27 stakeholders from 19 Catholic primary scho...
Article
Full-text available
This exploratory study engages with eight case studies of music performances broadcast online to investigate the role of music in facilitating social cohesion, intercultural understanding and community resilience during a time of social distancing and concomitant heightened racial tensions. Using an online ethnographic approach and thematic analysi...
Article
Mental health remains a significant issue among young people in the US and elsewhere. Evidence of the beneficial role Hip Hop-based approaches can play in this space is growing. The value of such approaches centers on links to community, culture, and the therapeutic potential of practicing certain Hip Hop elements. Yet, while there has been a stead...
Article
Full-text available
Hip Hop culture has shown an increasing presence in mainstream schooling over the last 15 years. This presence has taken many forms, including extracurricular programs, pedagogical tools, and whole-school approaches to student learning and development. Yet, discourse explicitly exploring the use of Hip Hop to facilitate wellbeing outcomes in school...
Article
Full-text available
This article presents findings from a critical interpretive synthesis of the literature pertaining to music therapist teacher support. Descriptions of music therapists providing support to teachers were identified in 40 publications and subject to a process of critical interrogation. Through this process, three tensions were identified that had the...
Article
Full-text available
Recent theorizing about the connection between the brain and trauma (Perry, 2009; Porges, 2011; van der Kolk, 2015) has led to a burgeoning of interest in the provision of music-based programs with people who have had adverse experiences. Although there has been critique of the lack of scientific basis of these theories and their implications for p...
Article
A challenge faced by many students is the loss of academic skills during the summer months. However, less attention is given to social and emotional needs during the summer. Thirty-five middle school students from low-SES homes participated in a summer program designed to improve verbal, academic, and youth development competencies. Three students...
Article
This article offers insights into using various music technologies associated with beat making culture in music therapy improvisation groups. Discussion regarding the use of music technology in music therapy practice dates back several decades, yet practical resources to help therapists implement this technology in everyday practice remains relativ...
Article
Full-text available
This article contextualises music technology within the Hip Hop tradition of beat making. While literature exploring music technology in music therapy has proliferated in recent years, much of this has focused on the “assistive” function of technology, where it is used to facilitate music making for clients who have limited access to playing acoust...
Article
This article explores the extent to which recent policy-based advocacy for music in Australian schools has been guided by economic arguments. This exploration was driven by emerging commentary on the rise of neo-social education policy, which is said to have reframed equality and social justice in education as tools for economic agendas. To explore...
Article
Although the notion of sustainability is popular in rhetoric associated with arts programmes in Australian schools, shared meanings are lacking. References to sustainability may be rooted in any combination of pragmatic, economic and/or health bases. We chose to investigate what stakeholders involved in the provision of school-based arts practices...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper explores how Indigenous Hip-Hop in Australia has become a powerful force for both advocating for Indigenous issues, and expressing contemporary Indigenous identity. We argue that Australian Indigenous Hip-Hop cannot merely be understood as either an adoption or reinterpretation of a Hip-Hop culture from the USA, nor as an attempt to hark...
Article
Background Music forms an important part of the lives and identities of adolescents and may have positive or negative mental health implications. Music therapy can be effective for mental disorders such as depression, but its preventive potential is unknown. Objective The aim of this study was to examine whether group music therapy (GMT) is an eff...
Article
Full-text available
Music and arts programs have increasingly been utilized to promote school engagement. Despite the fact that school engagement and music programs can be understood in myriad ways, little attention has been paid to potential distinctions between the types of music programs that underpin engagement. This article describes an investigation of how and w...
Article
Full-text available
This article reports on the student benefits of a school-based Hip Hop and beat making program. While a significant amount of literature has reported the benefits of Hip Hop programs in North American schools, comparatively little is known about the benefits of such programs in the Australian context. Using an ethnographic approach, this study expl...
Thesis
Full-text available
This project explores the challenges of investigating the psychosocial wellbeing benefits of musical participation in mainstream schools. For a decade, Australian policy literature has claimed these benefits are to be expected outcomes of all students’ participation in school music programs (Australian Government, 2005). Despite these claims, there...
Article
Full-text available
Participation in meaningful school music programs is the right of all children. Although music education is widely supported by policy, significant gaps exist in practice in most developed Western countries. These gaps mean the extrinsic and intrinsic benefits associated with participation in tailored programs are not equally available to all learn...
Article
Full-text available
Background GPs detect at best 50c of mental health problems in young people. Barriers to detecting mental health problems include lack of screening tools, limited appointment times and young people's reluctance to report mental health symptoms to GPs. The mobiletype program is a mobile phone mental health assessment and management application which...
Article
Introduction and aims: Alcohol use during adolescence is associated with the onset of alcohol use disorders, mental health disorders, substance abuse as well as socially and physically damaging behaviours, the effects of which last well into adulthood. Nevertheless, alcohol use remains prevalent in this population. Understanding motivations behind...
Article
The stepped-care approach, where people with early symptoms of depression are stepped up from low-intensity interventions to higher-level interventions as needed, has the potential to assist many people with mild depressive symptoms. Self-monitoring techniques assist people to understand their mental health symptoms by increasing their emotional se...
Article
Full-text available
Over 75% of mental health problems begin in adolescence and primary care has been identified as the target setting for mental health intervention by the World Health Organisation. The mobiletype program is a mental health assessment and management mobile phone application which monitors mood, stress, coping strategies, activities, eating, sleeping,...
Article
center (15% and 17% respectively). The three preferred sources of information about parenting and adolescent preventive health were providers, the internet and monthly newsletters. Parents' actual sources of information varied by socio-demo-graphics. Parents who were less educated were more likely to obtain information via the TV while those who we...
Thesis
Full-text available
Small scale cultural production has been largely ignored in academic debates regarding the production of popular culture. Despite this, there have been a select number of theorists who have suggested that the study of cultural production on this scale may provide valuable insight for larger debates, including those concerning cultural diversity. Un...

Questions

Questions (2)
Question
I want to measure the link between social well-being and music use in secondary school students, and am looking to create a measure for social well-being. I would like to know if there is anything that already exists in this area that is self-report.
Question
I am starting a PhD on using Community Music Therapy programs to facilitate social inclusion. I am looking for some accepted scales/measures/instruments by which to assess baseline levels of social inclusion/exclusion within a secondary school population, with the aim of testing levels again at post intervention, and follow up intervals.
I have found one that looks like it has been used in the UK a few times from:
Secker, J., Hacking, S., Kent, L., Shenton, J. & Spandler, H. (2009). Development of a measure of social inclusion for arts and mental health project participants. Journal of Mental Health, 18, 65-72.
However, I am looking for one that is relevant to secondary school students in an Australian context

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Projects

Projects (3)
Project
This project aims to provide a space for growth in engaged, critical academic discourse around the role, function, benefits, history and relevance of Hip Hop culture in Australia.
Project
support teachers to use music in their classroom. The inquiry also seeks to develop understandings of the way that partnering with teachers to enable their ability to use music may shift teacher attitudes about teaching and learning and support teachers’ use of inclusive pedagogical practices. This is needed as there are currently no known studies that have explored the potential for combining principles of community music therapy and inclusive education when working with teachers. Additionally, previous research within music therapy into supporting teachers to use music in their classroom practice has not included explicit investigation of teacher attitudes pertaining to teaching and learning. The main research question for this study is ‘How can a music therapist/ special educator/researcher partner with teachers to support them to use music in their classroom?’ The secondary research question is ‘How can music in the classroom support teachers’ use of inclusive practices?’
Project
Informed by ethnographic and grounded theory research approaches, this three-year project explores how school-based stakeholders understand sustainability in relation to Art participation in mainstream primary schools. It further aims to understand how conditions of a school community can affect the sustainability of arts programs introduced by external providers.