Book

Invitation to Community Music Therapy

Authors:
... Despite there being an abundance of literature describing non-medical approaches and orientations to music therapy practice (e.g. Kenny, 1989;Rolvsjord, 2010;Stige, 2002;Stige & Aarø, 2011), specific descriptions of goal processes outside of medical or rehabilitation contexts are rare. ...
... Approaches to assessment are typically more holistic and consider relational and emotional themes that extend beyond the symptoms or impairments related to a diagnosis (Rolvsjord, 2010). The term 'assessment' may even be avoided given its association with an expert medical model, with this phase alternatively described as a hang-out period (Bolger, McFerran, & Stige, 2018), getting a feel for the system (Rickson & McFerran, 2014) or the therapist actively engaging in reflective and ethics-driven collaborations (Stige & Aarø, 2011). The therapist strives to promote mutual understanding and a buy-in to the process for all participants (Bolger et al., 2018). ...
... Previous music therapy literature and practice standards have tended to either emphasise the more functional aspects of the therapists' role in assessing, identifying and writing goals (Davis et al., 2008;Hanser, 1999;Polen et al., 2017), or the broader philosophical considerations for a particular orientation (Rolvsjord, 2010;Stige & Aarø, 2011). Other more theoretical conceptualisations of goal processes have set up a dichotomy of music therapy practice based on whether the therapist is "outcome-oriented" or "experience-oriented" (Bruscia, 2014, p. 176), or aligned with a medical or psychodynamic framework (Aigen, 2014). ...
Article
This study explores the conditions and circumstances that influence the way experienced music therapists identify the therapeutic focus of their practice. Participants included 45 music therapists practicing in 8 different countries who were aged between 33-67 years old and with at least 5 years of professional experience. Participants described their approach to goals/aims within their practice, and the factors they believe influence their process. Grounded theory analysis generated a theoretical explanation of how music therapists engage with both the client and their employment context, and the way the attributes of these actors are likely to affect the process of identifying a therapeutic focus for the work. Implications for music therapy training and professional development are offered, with an emphasis on the subsequent ethical considerations and responsibilities of the therapist.
... Music therapy provides recognized benefits of a recovery-oriented practice (Solli et al., 2013), and Norwegian music therapy practices focus on relational and resource-oriented work aimed at building identity, coping strategies, and capacities and possibilities for community participation (Ruud, 2010). Flexible practices highlighting human rights, user involvement, and citizenship are typical (Stige & Aarø, 2012). ...
... Factors suggested to be of particular importance to succeed when working with acute adult psychiatric inpatients are the frequency of therapy, structure of the session, consistency of contact and the therapeutic relationship (Carr et al., 2013). Factors such as musical-social engagement and shared decision-making (participatory and music-centered practice) are highlighted in the literature on more community-oriented music therapy (Stige & Aarø, 2012). Hence, music therapy is a treatment with a high degree of flexibility in both form and content. ...
... To create conditions that can nurture the patient's passion for music seems to be key when the music therapists in this study talk about how and why they adjust their practices to circumstances and requests. This is in line with previous theorization of how music works in music therapy (Ansdell, 2016;Stige & Aarø, 2012). The health care team also need to know how and when to take advantage and make use of the positive relational, emotional and cognitive impact music therapy can have on a patient experiencing negative symptoms. ...
Article
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Introduction In 2015, the Norwegian Regional Health Authorities introduced the possibility for people with psychotic disorders to choose medication-free services, with music therapy as a treatment option. This study aimed to explore the health care workers’ perspectives on challenges and possibilities of music therapy within these services. Method This is a qualitative study by an interdisciplinary research team, including experts by experience. Ethnographic notes provide data from participant observation with one patient using music therapy, describing what music therapy can be “a case of”. Focus group discussions (FGDs) with health care workers, including music therapists, explore their experiences with music therapy and medication-free treatment. These were transcribed and analyzed using systematic text condensation in a stepwise, iterative process involving co-authors to ensure reflexivity. Results The summary from the participant observation provides the reader with background information on how music therapy can unfold in mental health care. The informants from the FGDs described music therapy as having a high degree of treatment flexibility providing a continuous process of choices. The collaborative choices both among staff members as well as between patient and staff were experienced as important for treatment outcome. Patients worsening or stagnating increased the significance of contingent choices. Discussion The strengths of music therapy, such as its acceptability and flexibility, also represent challenges, including dilemmas of prioritization, challenges when ending therapy, and the need for close collaboration when assessing a patient’s worsening. There is a potential for improving the implementation of music therapy into the existing health care teams.
... This involves being responsive to social conditions that relate to individual health, such as practices directed towards supporting refugee children's social participation. We emphasize Wenger's theory (1998) of social learning, which previously has been related to CoMT (Krüger & Strandbu, 2015;Stige & Aarø, 2012;Storsve et al., 2009). The combination of perspectives indicated above may not be common, but as Krüger et al. (2018) previously have argued, building bridges between a collaborative community music therapy approach and trauma-informed care might afford continuity and stability across situations when working with children who need support to experience safety, nurturing relationships, and sense of mastery. ...
... The practice had a participatory and exploratory character. At a theoretical level the work was inspired from CoMT (Pavlicevic & Ansdell, 2004;Stige & Aarø, 2012), resource-oriented music therapy (Rolvsjord, 2010), traumainformed approaches to music therapy (Orth et al., 2004;Sutton, 2002), and music therapy in schools (Tomlinson et al., 2012). ...
... Wenger's theory of communities of practice has previously been discussed in relation to CoMT, for example, by Ansdell (2010), in his investigation of belonging in a musical community, and in Stige and Aarø's (2012) book about CoMT. Other parts of the theory, that focuses on situated learning and participatory trajectories, are discussed by Krüger and Strandbu (2015) and Storsve et al. (2009). ...
Article
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Introduction: The quality of refugee children’s social life in the host country is essential to their health and development. Both practice and research indicate the relevance of music therapy in this respect, but our understanding of how music therapy can contribute to refugee children’s social wellbeing is still limited. This article explores how participation in music therapy in a public primary school can nurture refugee children’s readiness to collaborate with peers. Method: The study is situated within a hermeneutic research tradition and is designed as a single-site, collective case study consisting of four cases. Empirical material consists of logs and audio-recordings from music therapy sessions. Results: Results are presented as four case narratives that describe processes related to collaboration with peers. Discussion: Based on abductive analysis, this article discusses the practice of music therapy in terms of the processes of regulating, negotiating, and building a sharable repertoire. The article suggests that music therapy nurtures the child’s capacity to regulate emotions and engage in social participation: an ongoing negotiation of interpersonal relationships is combined with the cultivation of a shared repertoire that creates bridges to other practices and larger social configurations.
... Aims for MOT82 are to provide support for participants' process of gaining access to musical resources in the local community and of making music as a self-led activity in everyday life. The theoretical frame for MOT82 emphasises recovery-oriented (Solli, 2014), resource-oriented (Rolvsjord, 2010), and community music therapy approaches (Stige & Aarø, 2011). ...
... Many of the values described in the resource-and recovery-oriented perspectives are also present within a community music therapy approach (Stige & Aarø, 2011), which emphasises the importance of user-involvement and empowerment, and identifies equality, solidarity, and social justice as important values. Inspired by critical theory, these perspectives aim to challenge hierarchical ideologies that oppress minority groups and privilege those with power (Hense, 2015). ...
... You need to get known to the group, and the group needs to get to know you. Related to the field of community music therapy, participation is one of the defining characteristics (Stige & Aarø, 2011). An understanding of participation is linked to sociocultural theories (Vygotskij et al., 1978), emphasising situated learning (Lave & Wenger, 1991), learning as participation in a community of practice (Wenger, 1998), and an ecological understanding echoed in Bronfenbrenner's ecological model (1979) as well as Small's musicking concept (Small, 1998). ...
Article
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Introduction The study explores the theme “stigma” and how it was experienced by participants in MOT82, a music therapy project in the field of mental health aftercare in Norway. The theme is explored through the research questions: How is stigmatisation experienced by participants in a music therapy project in the field of mental health in aftercare? And: Which strategies can be used to prevent stigma in the context of music therapy in mental health aftercare? Method The method for the study is based on User Interviewing User, a method for evaluation of health services, where the service users are actively involved in the entire research process. The analyses were qualitative processes within a hermeneutic abductive approach highlighting reflexivity as an important part of the research process. Results The participants in the study expressed MOT82 to be a positive arena that fostered experiences of mastery, personal development, inclusion, and a strong collaborative community. However, the participants also highlighted the theme of stigma, expressed through stories about mechanisms of exclusion; negative processes of labelling; and how stigma could be related to issues concerning illness, health, and treatment. Discussion Findings related to the theme of stigma are discussed and illuminated by theory from sociology, music therapy, stigma research and recovery; emphasising the concepts of social capital, performance and the importance of a user perspective. With regards to the matter of destabilising stigma, the message from the participants in MOT82 is clear: Tone down the focus on mental illness, turn up the volume regarding the importance of doing music.
... [16,19,20,27,42] Being able to access communitas within the social space of the nucleo or the CoMT session can have a positive impact on other aspects of life outside that space, such as health, emotional well-being, and social development. [1,9] One main difference El Sistema and CoMT practice has to do with the emphasis on musical quality. While performance can be an important aspect of both programs, CoMT places a greater emphasis on the process that takes place and the thinking behind what's offered, rather than the product that results. ...
... While performance can be an important aspect of both programs, CoMT places a greater emphasis on the process that takes place and the thinking behind what's offered, rather than the product that results. [1,6,16] While El Sistema programs vary as to how much emphasis they place on the music versus the social and emotional well-being of their participants, there seems to be a greater emphasis on overall musical quality and excellence in general. [30] A lack of structural uniformity is also one of the main similarities between El Sistema and CoMT. ...
... In CoMT, practitioners always consider the culture and context in which the work is taking place, and practice is not standardized. [1,6,13] In El Sistema, each nucleo has the flexibility to develop its own personality and way of working while evolving constantly to meet the needs of the children and communities being served. [26,28,30] Even though each approach starts out with a superficially similar structure for its programs, the way of working is fundamentally different, especially as they come from two different fields. ...
Article
Music is an accessible tool that has been used to foster change within people and societies, even in those places facing socioeconomic marginalization due to poverty, discrimination, and lack of access to resources. Social capital has to do with the resources and networks available within a society, which may help confront issues faced by individuals and communities. Community Music Therapy (CoMT) and the music education movement known as El Sistema* both utilize music—understood as social capital—to address social justice. Part I of this article defines CoMT and examines the purpose and goals of CoMT and El Sistema comparatively, and the ways in which their programs may address the empowerment needs of individuals and communities facing socioeconomic marginalization. Part II reviews the findings of a study that leads toward a suggestion of how these two approaches may be able to work synergistically to achieve their shared goals. Findings reveal many parallels and divergences between El Sistema and CoMT which may be useful in advancing change. This article defines the role of the music, program structure, social justice goals, outcomes, music education practice, areas of intersection, existing scholarly research, and criticisms each has received, in an effort to further advance the understanding and possibilities music’s influence may have on society.
... In this model, music therapy skills are equally neutral […] (35) It is interesting to underline that reflections about re-thinking MT practices are coming up from a medical operating system, in a postcolonial context where even local traditional healings are ostracized. A socio-cultural orientation of MT has been discussed from a variety of perspectives in a variety of contexts, rarely are explicit references made to disability or autistic conditions, generally preferring to talk about community, context, musical health (Aigen, 2002;Ansdell, 2001;Bunt, Pavlicevic, 2002;Lee, 1992;Pavlicevic, 1997;Ruud, 1998;Stige and Aarø, 2012). These orientations marked a new era for music therapy, more focused on music-making processes by considering culture as a resource for action and an integral element in human action, more than a stimulus influencing human behavior. ...
... The definition of 'health musicking' seems to be the latest milestone in the efforts of scholars and practitioners to move closer to the social model. The following outcomes provided by Stige and Aarø (2012) Participatory, Resource-oriented, Ecological, Performative, Activist, Reflective, and Ethics-driven (PREPARE) reflects the intention of seeking an alternative to the medical model and provide a new line of research that is certainly more sustainable, especially for people with an autistic condition. Disability studies are offering a code for practice and research, different from that which were used by able-bodied scholars, detaching from using terms and methods properly from a deficit model perspective and looking forward to an approach that is radically democratic. ...
Conference Paper
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Music therapy has acquired over the years a gradual process of medicalization generated by the need to provide evidence-based results in the treatment and rehabilitation of Autism Spectrum Disorders. Otherwise, the goal of music as therapy should not be to propose music as a kind of remedy or cure, but to promote relationships between individuals, to acquire a collective awareness thanks to the communicative potential of music. Modern approaches can rely on Disability Studies as a ground to move in this direction, in a humanistic perspective, centering on culture, orienting on resources rather than defects and discussing the roles of power in the therapeutic relationship.
... There are two broad music therapy frameworks specifically relevant to critical perspectives on trauma, which divest from pathology and deficit discourses and emphasize the affordances of collective action. Community Music Therapy (Pavlicevic and Ansdell, 2004;Stige and Aarø, 2012) practice and research has brought the role of music therapists into the social domain, favoring social action over individualized interventions and clinical goals. ...
... In the case study context where the students' social, emotional, and behavioral issues at school were understood to be a result of trauma and dysfunction, the music therapy group program did not focus on emotional regulation, nor an expectation that the young people should share their experiences of trauma in the group. Rather, informed by existing critical music therapy frameworks (Rolvsjord, 2010;Stige and Aarø, 2012;Baines, 2013), the group goals centered on building the young people's agency, exploring power differentials, and repositioning their perceived vulnerabilities in relation to broader systemic forces (Scrine, 2019). ...
Article
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A broad sociocultural perspective defines trauma as the result of an event, a series of events, or a set of circumstances that is experienced as physically or emotionally harmful or life threatening, with lasting impacts on an individual’s physical, social, emotional, or spiritual wellbeing. Contexts and practices that aim to be “trauma-informed” strive to attend to the complex impacts of trauma, integrating knowledge into policies and practices, and providing a sanctuary from harm. However, there is a body of critical and decolonial scholarship that challenges the ways in which “trauma-informed” practice prioritizes individualized interventions, reinscribes colonial power relations through its conceptualizations of safety, and obscures the role of systemic injustices. Within music therapy trauma scholarship, research has thus far pointed to the affordances of music in ameliorating symptoms of trauma, bypassing unavailable cognitive processes, and working from a strengths-based orientation. In critiquing the tendency of the dominant trauma paradigm to assign vulnerability and reinforce the individual’s responsibility to develop resilience through adversity, this conceptual analysis outlines potential alternatives within music therapy. Drawing on a case example from a research project with young people in school, I elucidate the ways in which music therapy can respond to power relations as they occur within and beyond “trauma-informed” spaces. I highlight two overarching potentials for music therapy within a shifting trauma paradigm: (1) as a site in which to reframe perceived risk by fostering young people’s resistance and building their political agency and (2) in challenging the assumption of “safe spaces” and instead moving toward practices of “structuring safety.”
... As part of these discussions, we reviewed random segments of text and reflected on the accuracy and possible meanings of the codes and themes. We attempted to bring a self-awareness of our own contexts to these discussions (Finlay, 2002b), acknowledging our influences from previous research and theoretical frameworks such as personhood (Kitwood, 1997) and Community Music Therapy (Stige & Aarø, 2011). For example, in my initial coding I created the code performative. ...
... At the time of coding, I viewed this as simply the most accurate description for the coded text. On further reflection, I realised I was influenced by my previous knowledge of Community Music Therapy (Stige & Aarø, 2011). With a new awareness of these influences, I reevaluated my use of this code. ...
Article
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Qualitative systematic reviews, or qualitative evidence syntheses (QES), are increasingly used in health settings to guide the development of practice and policy. Thematic synthesis is one of the most well-developed approaches used for QES, however there are limited worked examples describing how to apply the steps of analysis in the literature. This paper describes the processes and decisions undertaken in a qualitative systematic review and thematic synthesis from the perspective of a novice researcher. The described review aimed to explore the shared musical experiences of people living with dementia and their family care partners across a range of settings. We found that shared musical activities fostered experiences of connection and wellbeing for people living with dementia and their family care partners. This was demonstrated with moderate-high confidence through six themes, and our findings informed the development of the Contextual Connection Model of Health Musicking. In presenting a worked example of our review, this paper introduces a systematic approach to coding and discusses the complexities of developing and reporting on analytical themes. We identify the need for a specific thematic synthesis reporting tool, and the need to embed reflexive practices into QES tools more broadly.
... This emphasis upon the relational and contextual nature of identity formation brings us full circle to music-centered theory, which recognizes that music-making, too, is culturally and socially embedded (Goehr, 2009;Small, 1998, Stige & Aarø, 2012. This facet of both music and identity will be evident through participants' narratives, which will be presented following a brief description of the study's methodology. ...
... This study attends to the too often unheard voices of adolescents and of mental health service users (McFerran, 2010;Solli & Rolvsjord, 2015). Stige and Aarø's (2012) reflection, that "we cannot give people a voice, but we can contribute to the construction of conditions that allow for previously unheard voices to be heard" (p. 5), is resonant here. ...
Article
This article explores the “Coffee House,” a community music therapy performance event held biannually at an adolescent mental health treatment facility in Southwestern Ontario, Canada. In this paper, I draw upon techniques and theory from narrative inquiry in order to investigate the experiences and perspectives of 7 adolescent clients and 11 staff members who participated in the event as performers and audience members. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews and analyzed through qualitative coding; the participants’ voices are presented here. Building upon a previous article, in which I attribute the Coffee House’s success to its participatory ethos, this article examines the impact of performing upon participants’ musical and personal identities as well as upon their relationships with others at the facility. The shifts and transformations that took place within youths’ identities were interdependent with the relational features of the performance context; expansions in youths’ self-identities were indelibly connected to staff members’ expanded perspectives on these youths, afforded through witnessing their performances. Participants’ narratives validate not only the ways in which identity and relationship intersect, but also the way in which musical performance’s impact upon identity and relationship is uniquely musical.
... A finding that choir participation may also improve outcomes for people with chronic mental illness (Dingle et al., 2013) is also relevant, as many people living with a neurological condition experience mental health issues (Prisnie et al., 2018;Rubin, 2018) In New Zealand, an inclusive, holistic approach has emerged with neurological choirs bringing together adults with a range of neurogenic communication difficulties (Fogg-Rogers et al., 2016;Talmage et al., 2013;Talmage & Purdy, 2018). Facilitated predominantly by music therapists, and occasionally by speech-language therapists or community musicians, mixed neurological choirs draw on the open group practices and emphasis on performance approaches of Community Music Therapy (Ansdell, 1995;Pavlicevic & Ansdell, 2004;Stige, et al., 2017;Stige & Aarø, 2012) that have much in common with community music practices . Although Matthews' (2018) research focused on Parkinson's disease, his usual practice is a mixed neurological choir (Matthews, 2016). ...
... However, selfawareness and attunement to self and clients are core requirements for music therapists and group facilitation (Hanser, 2016;Stige et al., 2017). Music therapists may have greater expertise in supporting participants across a spectrum of individual, group and performance contexts (Stige & Aarø, 2012;Wood, 2016). ...
Article
https://www.musictherapy.org.nz/journal/2021-2/ Community singing offers an enjoyable form of social engagement and has also been applied in therapeutic contexts for people with a range of health needs. Internationally and in New Zealand, practitioners and researchers have shown considerable interest in the potential of singing to support people with communication difficulties resulting from a range of acquired neurological conditions. The terminology and approaches of aphasia choirs, Parkinson’s choirs, and dementia (or memory) choirs are well established internationally. However, in New Zealand many choirs are not diagnosis specific, but cater for people with a range of conditions, and are often described as neurological choirs. Neurological choir protocols are often termed choral singing therapy, although the practices of individual choirs vary. This research aimed to analyse interview data collected from current and potential leaders of choirs and singing groups for people with communication difficulties. Participants were registered music therapists, speech-language therapists and community musicians who facilitated neurological choirs or were interested in doing so, and other representatives of organisations providing or considering choral singing therapy. The purpose was to gauge the availability, interest and training needs of facilitators for future research, such as a multi-site randomised controlled trial. Thirty-three participants took part in individual or (when requested by participants who worked together) small group interviews, either in person or via Skype. Interviews were transcribed by the interviewer and sent to interviewees for participant checking. As the research aimed to answer specific questions, thematic analysis of the interview transcripts predominantly used deductive coding, based on the themes of the interview questions. Many participants expressed interest in future research opportunities, but current practitioners’ investment in existing approaches, including co-facilitation, highlighted the need for further exploration of current practice before considering a trial requiring facilitator training and protocol fidelity.
... This approach aimed to recognize individuals while also supporting partnerships at multiple levels, from within the dyad to those developed within and outside the songwriting group. To do this, we drew on concepts of personhood (Kitwood, 1997), couplehood (Hellström et al., 2007), family centeredness (Hao and Ruggiano, 2020), and group process (Yalom and Leszcz, 2005), as well as notions from community music therapy (Stige and Aarø, 2012). Facilitation of TSW groups was driven by participants and adapted to flexibly meet the strengths and resources of individuals, dyads and the group (see Figure 2, Session design). ...
... However, consistent with theory on group TSW (Baker, 2015), participants in the current study further differentiated group TSW as an opportunity "to listen, to be listened to, to share" and "express a group" through writing a song. Group process and community music therapy models, drawn on in an effort to invite participation and empower the voices of individuals and dyads toward a collective effort (Yalom and Leszcz, 2005;Stige and Aarø, 2012), were also reflected in participants' described experiences. Our findings recognized that participants were able to contribute in diverse ways, received space and encouragement to voice their opinion, and worked collaboratively toward song products that were "all of everyone." ...
Article
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Background The wellbeing of people living with dementia and their family caregivers may be impacted by stigma, changing roles, and limited access to meaningful opportunities as a dyad. Group therapeutic songwriting (TSW) and qualitative interviews have been utilized in music therapy research to promote the voices of people with dementia and family caregivers participating in separate songwriting groups but not together as dyads. Procedures This study aimed to explore how ten people with dementia/family caregiver dyads experienced a 6-week group TSW program. Dyads participated in homogenous TSW groups involving 2–4 dyads who were either living together in the community (2 spousal groups) or living separately because the person with dementia resided in a care home (1 family group, 1 spousal group). The TSW program, informed by personhood, couplehood, family centered and group process frameworks, involved creating original lyrics through song parody and song collage. Qualified Music Therapists facilitated sessions and interviewed each dyad separately. Interviews were analyzed using interpretative phenomenological analysis. Findings Five recurrent group themes were developed, indicating group TSW: (1) was a positive shared experience, benefiting both members of the dyad and motivating further engagement with music; (2) stimulated mental processes and reignited participants’ interests and skills; (3) provided meaningful opportunities for reflection and connection with memories and life experiences; and (4) prompted interaction and collaboration, leading to social connections, empathic relationships and experiences of inclusion. Participants also highlighted how: (5) the facilitated process supported engagement, highlighting abilities and challenging doubts. Conclusion Dyads identified group TSW as an opportunity to recognize strengths, voice ideas and opinions, share meaningful experiences, and do “more with music.” Participants valued TSW as a new, creative and stimulating experience that enabled connection with self and others and led to feelings of pride and achievement. Our findings further recognize how therapeutic intention and approach were reflected in participants’ engagement and responses regardless of dementia stage and type, dyad relationship, or musical background. This research may broaden perspectives and expand understanding about how people with dementia and their family caregivers access and engage in music therapy.
... In contrast to previous research which largely portrays music therapy with offenders as a forensic mental health treatment in the form of psychological and behavioural interventions (Cohen, 1987;Coutinho et al., 2015a;Dickinson, 2006;Fulford, 2002;Gallagher and Steele, 2002;Glyn, 2003;Hakvoort, 2002;Kellett et al., 2019;Reed, 2002), this thesis explores the significance of supporting musicking as an everyday practice for prisoners. As such, the research and practice presented aligns with principles of Community Music Therapy (CoMT) which views music therapy as an emergent, co-constructed, situated social practice that emphasises notions of mutual care and the cultivation of musical and health resources (Ansdell and Pavlicevic, 2004;Procter, 2013;Stige and Aarø, 2011;Wood, 2016). Whilst there are few studies specifically of CoMT in prison settings (see Tuastad and O'Grady, 2013 as an example), our findings suggest that CoMT's impetus to 'follow where people and music lead' (Ansdell and Pavlicevic, 2004: 30) may provide people in prison with a technology for what Kougiali et al. (2018) call 'noncoersive personal development' (p. 1). ...
... We have previously conceptualised the prison as a 'therapeutic music scene supported by a music therapist' (Hjørnevik and Waage, 2019), highlighting the significance of musicking in shaping the 'emotional geography of prison life' (Crewe et al., 2014: 1). This concept echoes a wider disciplinary shift towards music therapy as the facilitation of health musicking (Stige and Aarø, 2011), concerned with providing opportunities for music making in everyday life situations as much as with more formal music therapy sessions and interventions, and sensitive to the ecology of musical relationships (Ansdell, 2014), that is relationships between sounds, people and context, within and beyond the institution. The music therapy service is informed by theories of communicative musicality, that is the notion that all humans are musical (Malloch and Trevarthen, 2018). ...
Article
Despite the strong relationships evidenced between music and identity little research exists into the significance of music in prisoners’ shifting sense of identity. This article explores musicking as part of the ongoing identity work of prisoners in light of theory on musical performance, narrative and desistance and discusses implications for penal practice and research. Through the presentation of an ethnographic study of music therapy in a low security Norwegian prison we show how participation in music activities afforded congruence between the past, the present and the projected future for participants by way of their unfolding musical life stories. Complementing existing conceptualisations of music as an agent for change, our study suggests that musicking afforded the maintenance of a coherent sense of self for participating prison inmates, whilst offering opportunities for noncoercive personal development. We argue that research into musicking in prison offers fruitful ways of tracing how the complexities inherent in processes of change are enacted in everyday prison life, and that it can advance our knowledge of relationships between culture, penal practice and desistance.
... It is important to note that the model is not based on a specific music therapeutic approach (e.g., behavioural, psychodynamic, or psychoanalytic). Yet, our therapeutic goals such as nurturing of personal strength; coping skills; and mobilizing social, cultural and material resources can be related to a community music therapy approach (Stige, 2015). Rather, the Musiktherapie-Initiative e.V. applied a context-sensitive, trauma-informed approach meaning to be attentive to the multilevel impacts of trauma, recognizing signs and symptoms of trauma, finding a fitting response, and efforts to prevent re-traumatization (Champine et al., 2019;Rolvsjord, 2015). ...
... To provide more structure to the session, songs were repeated often. Participants were welcome to introduce songs, rhythms or dances of their own to encourage musical participation and social inclusion (Stige, 2015). ...
Article
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Due to the difficult situation of refugees, working with this group is challenging. Yet, music therapy is a suitable method for early therapeutic intervention. The authors introduce the context-sensitive classification model for music therapeutic interventions with refugees—COVER model— which is based on practical music therapeutic experiences using a trauma-informed approach with refugees in Germany. The COVER model can serve as a guideline for music therapists who work with refugees in insecure circumstances. The COVER model applies music therapeutic interventions to the natural living environment of refugees and allows for early interventions which may be a crucial benefit to the psychological health of refugees and music therapists working in this area.
... As long as we are in the space, we are musicking (Small, 1998). Music is a tool for encouraging community participation and wellbeing (Curtis & Mercado, 2004;Gosine et al., 2017;Steele, 2016;Stige, et al., 2010;Stige & Aarø, 2012;Verdonschott et al., 2009). ...
Article
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The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the lives of people worldwide. This collaborative article describes personal and professional experiences of New Zealand music therapists during the lockdown. We envisaged this article as a series of glimpses into our professional lives, a tapestry reminiscent of the now so familiar grid of Zoom participant images. Each author (or team) offers a unique snapshot of life and professional practice at this time, all focusing on the shift from face-to-face to online connections. Contributing authors focus on various cultural aspects, clinical and community musicking, telehealth approaches, resource-oriented practice, and online music therapy training. This diversity illustrates the many affordances of music, described by Denora, and Wood’s matrix of musical formats that can be incorporated within eclectic music therapy practice. Many contributing co-authors draw on community music frameworks. Most theory here is practice-led, driven by ecological principles of prioritising people, context, and trauma recovery. This article highlights concurrent vulnerability and resourcefulness in ourselves as music therapists and in those we work with. The authors hope that readers will feel encouraged to reflect on and share their own experiences, challenges, resourcefulness, and guiding values as we all continue to build individual and collective resilience.
... The focus on social capital highlights the importance of participation as a factor in wellbeing and contrasts with the predominant medical, evidence-based framework whose perspective is primarily any easily measured effects of music therapy (Pavlicevic & Ansdell 2004;Stige & Aarø 2011). For instance, Procter (2007) argues how participants increase possibilities of actions through cultivating reciprocity and trust in and out of these collective aesthetic realization processes. ...
... For example, the CDG can not provide therapy services because many of the participants are peers and a music therapist can not ethically treat one's own peer. The CDG also prescribes to the democratic nature of community music therapy; the peers and facilitators democratically proceed in a non-therapeutic but therapyreflexive relationship (Ansdell & Stige, 2017;Stige & Aarø, 2012). ...
Thesis
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It has been stated that pre-professional music therapy students and music therapy practitioners have felt that their university education did not prepare them to apply functional drumming skills to music therapy-specific interventions or activities. 66% of the 87 AMTA approved university programs did not provide music therapy focused percussion classes and half of those programs offered no percussion training in the music therapy curricula at all. Current music therapy students need to be better prepared to apply percussion-based skills to clinical work. If the academy or music therapy programs lack the capacity to educate future music therapists, alternate programs like university affiliated music therapy-based community drumming groups offer ways for students to familiarize themselves with percussion-based activities and skills that may be applied to their future music therapy practice and internships. Such programs allow students to train to become proficient in drumming skills applicable to clinical work in music therapy at no additional cost.
... Collaboration is not only needed among the music therapy professionals but also at the community level. The core spirit of community of music therapy is networking and collaborating which means directly or indirectly working cooperatively with other professionals (Bolger, 2013;Stige and Aarø, 2012). Different countries have developed and provided arts-based rehabilitation or therapeutic programs for adolescents in prison, detention, and probation settings. ...
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This study introduces a music therapy project for young offenders through community collaboration and its efficacy through a mixed method. The project called Young & Great Music is carried out via collaboration among three parties, which are the educational institution, the district prosecutor's office, and corporate sponsor, forming a tripartite networking system. In this paper, we present an efficacy evaluation of the project's implementation with 178 adolescents involved with the juvenile justice system: 115 youth was on suspension of indictment and 63 youth was under supervised probation. Quantitative and qualitative measures were collected and analyzed to examine the efficacy of the project. The music therapy program was developed for 15 sessions based on the use of music to prompt positive resources through music making and song writing. The efficacy was examined using three scales; self-concept, resilience, and stress coping skills. The paired t-test showed that there were significant improvement in all three scales respectively (p < 0.000). In order to examine the group difference between suspended indictment and supervised probation groups, Welch-Aspin t-test was conducted due to unequal variance of the group. Results showed there was a significant group difference in self-concept (p = 0.006) and resilience (p = 0.022). The study further examined participant's experience of music and perceived benefits. Twenty participants had in-depth interviews about their music therapy experience which were recorded, transcribed and analyzed. Of the 109 statements derived from a qualitative content analysis of the interview transcripts, music making and song writing was repeatedly reported as helpful in gaining "new perspectives," "courage to challenge and pursuit," "perseverance," and "self-acknowledgment." The positive result of the study showed that the collaborative networking of regional and social resource to support for adolescents at-risk was successful. The results of this project are promising and suggest that other arts-based rehabilitation services and programs should be developed and implemented in juvenile justice system. For this, strategies for program sustainability for long-term facilitation are needed.
... Regarding STALWARTS, PAR had the potential to include teachers' and children's views in resourceful ways, using a range of methods such as drama, poetry, stories, music and visual arts (Pinter & Zandian, 2015;Springgay, Irwin, & Kind, 2008). The contemporary music therapy and education literature supports the use of participatory, collaborative and strengths-based approaches used in the STALWARTS project (Stige & Aarø, 2012). Within community music therapy, a participatory approach acknowledges a willingness to listen to all voices in group processes, and to engage participants in a collaborative process of meaning-making. ...
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This project report describes policy, practice and theory related to a cross-sectoral international project funded by the European Union’s Erasmus+ programme. STAL- WARTS– Sustaining Teachers and Learners with the Arts: Relational Health in Euro- pean Schools–aimed to promote relational health in schools through engagement with the arts. The project was developed in five European countries: Estonia, Italy, Norway, Portugal, and the UK. The local partnerships between five universities and community-based schools are diverse in terms of their locations in the European re- gion and the populations they serve, in terms of age, social status and learning con- ditions. In this article we focus on the link between ELET policies in each country and local context. We ask: How can identified ELET policy initiatives in the five partner countries relate to the achievements of the STALWARTS partner schools when work- ing with the expressive arts? Some related theoretical background underpinning the practical aspects of the project brings this report to a conclusion.
... While Resource-Oriented Music Therapy (Rolvsjord, 2010(Rolvsjord, , 2014 has focused on the potential of the participant in music therapy, and Community Music Therapy (Stige et al., 2010;Stige & Aarø, 2012) has discussed the wider systemic context, we aim to more specifically focus on our intentionality as music therapists. Therefore, it feels important to clarify that in critically reflecting on case examples and existing research we do not seek to criticise existing practices or advocate a single way of practising. ...
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This position paper offers our personal reflections as five music therapists from varying social and international contexts attempting to understand and engage with the theory, politics and implications of the Neurodiversity Movement. We begin by positioning our views on the importance of the therapist's intentionality when working with individuals for whom this social, cultural and political movement may represent central beliefs and values. The evolution of the Neurodiversity Movement is discussed , growing from the social model of disability and Disability Rights Movements to present a challenge to the dominant, medicalised model of disability. Throughout the paper, we invite critical debate around the role, position and attitude of the music therapist when working with neurodivergent participants, taking the powerful words of Autistic author and activist, Penni Winter, as our provocation. Finally, we offer our interpretation of key concepts and dimensions of this discourse, before sharing examples of how we might apply these understandings to tangible tenets of music therapy practice in different contexts through a series of brief composite case stories. Through critical reflection and discussion, we attempt to draw together the threads of these diverse narratives to challenge a normocentric position, and conclude by posing further questions for the reader and the wider music therapy profession .
... Not only can music therapy be offered to people seeking individual therapeutic support in acute and outpatient settings, but the communal elements of music-making can be harnessed to accommodate the needs of wider social settings through community music therapy (CMT). CMT practices capitalise on the healthpromoting properties of participatory music-making in community settings (Stige & Aarø, 2012). The success of CMT in supporting people transitioning from hospital to community living has been documented in detail (Ansdell, DeNora, & Wilson, 2016). ...
Chapter
The following chapter provides a descriptive overview of music therapy and its potential benefits for supporting people experiencing severe and enduring mental illness to journey toward personal recovery. Music therapy is a health profession in which music is employed as the primary agent for therapeutic change. It has been increasingly recognised that the values underpinning music therapy practice are closely aligned with those of recovery in mental health. As a person-centred therapy, music therapy supports personal recovery by capitalising on protective factors and clients’ individual resources. This chapter begins with a descriptive overview of music therapy and its role in mental health recovery, including a literature review outlining its clinical efficacy in alleviating the negative and global symptoms associated with schizophrenia. From a recovery perspective, exclusively pursuing quantitative outcomes when establishing evidence for music therapy provision is problematic, as it de- emphasises the role of service users’ lived experiences in informing the therapeutic process. Accordingly, while presenting a comprehensive overview of supporting music therapy literature, this chapter means to delineate the emerging personal and clinical recovery discourses in the field. This is achieved primarily through the presentation of a case example outlining the personal recovery journey of a young man through his self-selected preference for Rap music. The development of a meaningful personal narrative has been identified as a particularly relevant component of the recovery process. Through this case example, the authors seek to illustrate this young man’s use of Rap music in forging a narrative identity beyond his experience of illness. Overall, the authors hope to demonstrate music therapy’s potential to provide experiences of mastery, personal agency, connection and vitality despite the presence of ongoing symptomatology, while offering a unique medium through which meaningful narratives can be formed.
... Image description: A drawing of a wheelchair, a chair with a shorter leg, a plastic garden chair, a high chair, an arm chair, and an African chair. ture, and politics (Pavlicevic & Ansdell, 2004;Stige & Aarø, 2012). However, and not doing justice to the literature that indeed does the contrary, there is a tendency to represent disabled children and their families not in terms of their resources and their social and cultural context, but in terms of their difficulties and often based on the child's individual mind-body differences. ...
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Despite contemporary perspectives in resource-oriented music therapy, community music therapy, and anti-oppressive practice, there seems still to be a tendency to describe disabled children and their families in a pathologizing, problem-focused way. Disability is often located within the child and not in the societal structures that sustain and support the concept of disability as tragedy and burden for the families. Queer theories challenge the concepts of normality and fixed identities, reject pathologization, and politicize access. In this paper, I attempt to explore how queertheories offer a critical perspective on normativity, identity, and power. I will do this by exploring the concept of normality and normativity and discourse current representations of disabled children in the music therapy literature and by reflecting upon an ongoing participatory action research project where I aim to co-create knowledge on musicking, its accessibility, and meaning together with disabled children and their families. I argue that we need to change the way we talk and write about our practice as well as to challenge the concepts and attitudes toward diversity in order to contribute to inclusive environments that appreciate and celebrate diversity.
... Alongside the emergence of community music therapy (Pavlicevic & Ansdell, 2004a;Stige & Aarø, 2012;Stige et al., 2010;Wood, 2015), there has been an increased interest in the ripple effect of music therapy's impact (Pavlicevic & Ansdell, 2004b). This highlights the expansion of our awareness of music therapy's impact beyond the individual client or service user (namely the direct beneficiary) to consider indirect beneficiaries, such as family members, carers, staff, or other bystanders. ...
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Service evaluation is a professional requirement for music therapy practitioners and organisations. Yet service evaluation findings are rarely published within the professional literature, and there is limited documentation of the processes and methods of such evaluations, including the rationale, dilemmas, and challenges encountered. This is perhaps due to the perceived status, methodological weaknesses, and context-specificity of service evaluation work. Drawing on our engagement with service evaluation in diverse settings, we have become aware of its potential beyond its typical current uses in the field as well as of the need for open discussion and debate about the service evaluation tools that are available. This is where the aim of this paper lies: to introduce a service evaluation tool, the Impact Areas Questionnaire (IAQ), alongside the studies that led to its construction. Developed originally through a review of 27 individually designed service evaluation projects, this questionnaire contains a number of different impact areas. Adopting an ecological perspective, these areas refer to music therapy’s perceived impact not only on service users, but also on families/carers/friends, staff, and the organisational context in its entirety. Following its original development within Nordoff Robbins England and Wales, this questionnaire was tested in the context of Nordoff Robbins Scotland with the aim of exploring its applicability and transferability to other music therapy settings. In addition to presenting the findings of this testing, we discuss the potential use of the IAQ, which is included as an appendix to this article, in other settings and its relevance for knowledge and policy making in the field.
... Several well-established theoretical frameworks within the field align with strengths-based and recovery-oriented approaches. These include the resource-oriented approach introduced by Rolvsjord (2010) which emphasizes an orientation toward consumer strengths and self-determination within recovery, aligning with the concept of personal recovery (Slade, 2009), and the community music therapy framework (Ansdell, 2002;Pavlicevic & Ansdell, 2004;Stige & Aarø, 2012) where the need for belonging and connectedness to community are central concerns and also fundamental aspects of social recovery. Other critical approaches, such as anti-oppressive practice (Baines, 2013), and feminist approaches (Hadley & Edwards, 2004;Curtis, 2013) have explicitly examined notions of power and oppression, endorsing careful attention to power dynamics, and vigilance within therapeutic relationships with inherently asymmetric balances of power. ...
Article
This paper explores the potential of collaborative group facilitation between therapists and peer workers in mental health. A case study of co-practice between a music therapist and a peer worker is used to illustrate how lived experience expertise can enrich and complement therapeutic groups. The paper aims to begin a discussion around collaborative group facilitation within mental health practice and to advocate for continued development of collaborative practice between peer workers and therapists. Experiences of collaboration are explored through the case study provided using a synthesis of the authors’ reflections and dialogue. The importance of role negotiation, role definition, and open communication around changing roles and boundaries are discussed as key considerations for beginning collaborations, as well as the establishment and maintenance of a foundation of trust and support within the working relationship.
... CoMT views participants within an ecological context, recognising the complex interplay between individuals, families, groups and the broader community (Bronfenbrenner, 1992;Stige, 2002). It incorporates participatory, resource-oriented, performative, reflective and ethics-driven practices (Stige, 2015). Within CoMT, the term health musicking is used to describe the use of music and its affordances to support health and wellbeing (Stige, 2012). ...
Article
Background: There is a global need for interventions that support the wellbeing of people living with dementia and their family care partners. Studies show that shared musical activities may achieve this. Our systematic review aimed to synthesise existing research exploring dyads' experiences of shared musical activities across a range of contexts. Method: From 31 October 2020 we searched PubMed, PsycInfo, CINAHL Complete, EMBASE, RILM, Web of Science Core Collection, Google Scholar and ProQuest Dissertations & Theses for studies published up to 14 April 2021, and hand searched five music therapy journals plus citation lists. Thirteen qualitative studies reporting on dyads' experiences and perspectives of shared musical activities across a range of settings were included. Studies with mixed populations or mixed modality interventions were excluded. We analysed the final studies using thematic synthesis, engaging in reflective discussions and reflexivity throughout. The quality of included studies was assessed using the CASP qualitative checklist. This study is registered on PROSPERO: CRD42020169360. Results: Six themes were identified from 13 studies: 1) shared musical activities support wellbeing for people living with dementia, 2) music groups become ecological systems, 3) shared musical activities are experienced differently over time, 4) shared musical activities are experienced by me and as we, 5) music is a supportive structure, and 6) the thread of connection (an overarching theme). A GRADE-CERQual assessment found moderate to high confidence in these findings. Findings informed the development of the Contextual Connection Model of Health Musicking. Conclusion: Shared musical activities foster experiences of connection for people living with dementia and their family care partners. Experiences of connection are supported through professional facilitation and the structural aspects of music, and are influenced by the setting and changes over time. These experiences of connection play a central role in supporting dyadic and individual wellbeing. These findings are largely relevant to a western cultural context; future research should seek to include more diverse cultural experiences.
... 17. Indeed, Stige and Aarø (2011) note that Community Music Therapy shares a closer affinity to relational, conceptual, and performance art, in comparison to the visual art practices (such as painting) that have more often been used as metaphors to describe music therapy (p. 228). ...
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This commentary presents an experimental-composer’s perspective on contemporary music therapy practice. I begin by offering my impressions of the field, gathered through interviews with practising music therapists, and an examination of the relevant literature. Then, the commentary first draws upon G. Douglas Barrett’s radical post-sonic theorisation of music to question the future of existing music in therapy, before instrumentalising avant-garde aesthetics to imagine what music may become in music therapy. This exploration will pay particular attention to the impacts of the dematerialisation of the art object in contemporary art, and the potential benefits a similar decentering of sound in contemporary music practices may provoke—specifically, the creation of theoretical frameworks that further suppress the authority of canonical forms, and increased contributions from previously-marginalised groups. Next, the commentary presents an analysis of two recent musical compositions that determinedly decenter sound, before examining the appropriateness of this aesthetic to therapeutic contexts. Finally, the commentary signposts a number of historical antecedents that illustrate music therapy’s potential for rigorous (and radical) selfexamination, and examines how these efforts may be expanded.
... 1). A sense of purpose, increasing confidence and feeling competent as a result of increased participation as well as the possibility for identity renegotiation engendered by all this resonate with the principles of the CoMT (Ansdell, 2002;Steele, 2016;Stige & Aarø, 2011;Tiszai & Szűcs-Ittzés, 2016) and the identity renegotiation theory in aphasia rehabilitation (Shadden, 2005); both can form the basis of therapeutic choir work. ...
Article
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Aphasia choirs have been gaining more and more attention for the last decade. The operation of these are based on two pillars: the therapeutic effect of singing with aphasia and decreasing the social isolation of clients with a verbal language disorder. The aim of this article is to draw attention to the international community of these choirs, with special focus on the Hungarian Aphasia Choir, and show their challenges resulting from the restrictions imposed by the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. The Hungarian Aphasia Choir has had their therapeutic rehearsals online for seven months. The participants’ experiences and their coping methods regarding online and offline choir sessions were examined by an online survey of five questions completed by thirteen choir members living with aphasia as well as some of their caregivers. The responses clearly show the choir members’ general desire to carry on offline rehearsals, while the results also demonstrate that online rehearsals are effective in decreasing social isolation.
... The important underlying role that a rights-based perspective played may have been one of the reasons that identity was discussed so prominently. In discussing the importance of identity, participants made reference to a number of theoretical frameworks, including person-centred care, humanistic and strengths-based approaches, community music therapy and resourceoriented music therapy (Abrams, 2014;Kitwood, 1997;Schwabe, 2005;Stige & Aarø, 2012). All of these frameworks have strong rights-based elements, demonstrating the interrelating nature of this study's two major themes of supporting identity in context and responding to diverse needs. ...
Article
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This study explored how music therapists may use group therapeutic songwriting (TSW) to support the dyadic relationships between people living with dementia and their family caregivers. Three registered music therapists (RMTs) with relevant clinical and/or research experience participated in semi-structured interviews. A thematic analysis of the interview data found five key concepts that may contribute to how music therapists use group TSW to support the dyadic relationship: supporting identity in context; responsiveness to diverse needs and wishes; the importance of the group; the creative process; and human rights. Findings contribute understandings about creative and supportive ways of working with people living with dementia and their family caregivers to promote relationship quality, quality of life and wellbeing. This study highlights the complexity and need for flexibility in facilitating group TSW and contributes insights into how the personal values of music therapists may influence how they work with people living with dementia and family caregivers.
... This approach focuses on human strengths and resources (Stige, 2002). Community Music Therapy (CoMT) extends the practice of the profession to working outside the therapy room in and with the community, usually with groups (Stige & Aaro, 2012). This approach requires the therapist to be sensitive to social, communal and cultural aspects, and to put an emphasis on the patient's resources and strengths (Ansdell, 2014). ...
Article
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Koolulam is a social musical initiative launched in 2017. It is a special kind of mass�singing. The aim of Koolulam is to strengthen the societal fabric through singing in large groups. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study that examines this social musical phenomenon. The first aim of the present study is to examine the profile of the people who attend Koolulam events and their motivation. The second aim is to examine whether the social, emotional and communal characteristics of Koolulam events contain elements that may help strengthen the resilience of individ�uals in the group. The data were collected through two possible quantitative ques�tionnaires, one of which included two open-ended questions, which were analyzed qualitatively. There were 914 participants, 334 of which completed the question�naire that contained the open-ended questions. The findings indicate that Koolu�lam events are perceived as a phenomenon different from other multi-participant events. The shared singing experience at these events has social, emotional, and communal characteristics. This is the only study to our knowledge done on Koolulam events. Findings suggest that singing in a large group in the framework of a Koolulam event has social-communal and emotional characteristics that may strengthen the resilience of the people who attend.
... There is no consensus on which type of music offers the best healing results in a specific clinical setting. Several models of music therapy have been used: analytical music therapy (2), the Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music (3), Benenzon (4), Nordoff-Robbins (5), community music therapy (6), neurologic music therapy (7) and vocal psychotherapy (5). ...
... Flexibility is central in fostering musical community and working creatively with children and adolescents in context: 'acknowledging the social and cultural factors of their health, illness, relationships and musics' (Ansdell, 2002, para. 3;Stige & Aaro, 2012). ...
Article
The COVID-19 pandemic created a major transformation in the delivery of music therapy services worldwide as they moved online. Telehealth research is in its infancy and online work with children and adolescents with visual impairment has yet to be investigated. This survey-based study explored the experiences and perceptions of parents of children and adolescents with visual impairment (n = 11) who engaged in online music therapy. Video playlists were accessed regularly and almost all parents reported positive (2/11) or very positive (8/11) responses and perceived them as beneficial in engaging with their child. Ninety-five percent (10/11) of parents perceived the teleheath programme to be a positive experience for their child, 73% (8/11) observed positive behaviours directly after the sessions, and 82% (9/11) indicated that the programme was a valuable family resource that supported bonding and interaction. Inductive reflexive thematic analysis generated four themes from the qualitative data: (a) positive impacts, (b) interactive family resource, (c) connection to school, and (d) challenges. A discussion of the findings is followed by implications for practice.
... The structure of each choir session was designed based on the Therapeutic Group Singing (TGS) model that emerged from the Remini-Sing pilot study . This model was informed by person-centered care, Kitwood's theory of Validation (Kitwood, 1997), and Community Music Therapy (Stige & Aarø, 2011). Sessions, facilitated by one or two registered music therapists, were approx. ...
Article
This paper seeks to represent the perspectives of community-dwelling people who are living with dementia and their family care-partners, who participated community-based, therapeutic choirs that were formed as part of the Remini-Sing project. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) was used to analyze data from interviews with fourteen participants (7 people living with dementia [4 women, mean age = 82] and 7 care-partners [5 women, mean age = 68]). Eight themes identified the perceived benefits of choir singing and elements of the choirs and research project more broadly that influenced participation. Findings support past research that suggests choir singing is an accessible and enjoyable activity that can support the health and wellbeing of people living with dementia and their family care-partners. Challenges with recruitment and sustainability of programs post-research are highlighted.
... • Field of play (Kenny, 2006) • Resource oriented MT (Rolvsjord, 2010) • Community Music Therapy (CoMT) (Aarø & Stige, 2012;Ansdell, 2002) • Queer music therapy (Bain et al., 2016) • Feminist MT (Hadley, 2006) • Anti-oppressive MT (Baines, 2013) • Narrative therapy (Morgan, 2000) • Ecological music therapy (Small, 1998) • Indigenous health models -Te Whare Tapa Whā (Māori model of health, Durie, 1998). ...
Article
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This paper describes my journey in developing Post-Ableist Music Therapy and offers vignettes of its use in practice. In the style of an autoethnography, it recounts the way I began actively to address the ableism that was uncovered during the analysis process of my PhD research: ‘Developing Post-Ableist Music Therapy: An autoethnography exploring the counterpoint of a therapist experiencing illness/disability’(Shaw, 2019). I set about developing an ethic for practice that would address ableism by using the Foucauldian tool of creating the self as a work of art. I engaged in a creative process as a way to defamiliarise and reconceptualise practice. Post-Ableist Music Therapy was developed and extended the relational ethic beyond what was present in the practice studied, by drawing on aspects of posthumanism (valuing interdependence; Braidotti, 2013), agonistic pluralism (Chambers, 2001; Cloyes, 2002; Mouffe, 2016), and increasing the incorporation of disability studies. Posthumanism was used as a foundation for PAMT (due to the ableist tendencies of humanism), which differs to current music therapy orientations. Therefore, PAMT is offered as an alternative lens in the critical orientations’ apparatus: a social justice practice that is not based on empowerment and humanism, but instead on agonism and posthumanism.
... In contrast, the music therapy faculty member explained that their program is community-oriented, which means it places emphasis on aspects of community music therapy such as "togetherness" with the client (Stige & Aarq, 2012) rather than on psychologizing students' inner experience or self-observation, such as countertransference. Music therapy students also scored higher than all the other CATs at T1 (M = 4.4) and, therefore, had more room to decrease. ...
Article
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There is little research on the transformational processes of creative arts therapies (CATs) students during training compared to other healthcare professions. CATs training relies on arts‐based experiential learning that can develop the therapist’s creative self‐beliefs, psychological mindedness, and perspective‐taking. This single group pre–post study examined the changes in these unstudied, yet essential, creative and personal factors in a sample of 191 CATs students in the first year of their master’s degree program in Israel. It was hypothesized that students would report a statistically significant increase in creative and personal measures from the beginning to the end of their first year of training, but this hypothesis was only partially supported. There were different development trajectories in each CATs discipline in terms of creative identity, creative self‐efficacy, psychological mindedness, and perspective‐taking. The discussion sheds light on these results by considering the domain‐specific differences between the CATs disciplines and their respective training approaches, and through follow‐up interview data collected from trainers in each CATs track. This study thus contributes to a better understanding of the trajectories of change of these attributes in CATs students. Training programs should consider these results when building curricula, to nurture the balance between students’ artistic and helping competencies.
... While the social model of disability has become relatively well-known and accepted in wider society, its acceptance is arguably less forthcoming within the music therapy community, where a medical model perspective is still prevalent and pervasive (Gross, 2018;Pickard et al., 2020;Straus, 2011). Challenges to this position have been made in the seminal resource-oriented music therapy approach of Randi Rolvsjord (2010Rolvsjord ( , 2014 as well as the strides made in the community music therapy movement (Stige et al., 2010;Stige and Aarø, 2012). ...
Article
In pedagogic literature informed by critical disability studies, academia is widely cited as an ableist institution: the training ground for the professions of normalcy. Music therapy could readily be complicit in this normalising discourse with its potential to pathologise participants and to maintain a strict ‘normative divide’, between professionals it trains and participants who engage with its provision. Activists, advocates and disabled therapists have posed a welcome challenge to this positioning in recent publications, but the pedagogical dimensions of music therapy training in this area have received less attention. The emerging signature pedagogy of music therapy and its omissions will be considered, which may explain the need for an increased social justice focus in music therapy curricula. This article considers the potential of applying Kumashiro’s (2000) typologies of anti-oppressive education in music therapy training: problematising existing pedagogies and critically reflecting upon the potential of a social justice informed curriculum. These approaches have the potential to reframe Otherness by acknowledging expertise in lived experience. Through introducing these frameworks for socially just, anti-oppressive pedagogies, this article invites consciousness raising in music therapy pedagogy through engagement with critical disability studies theory and philosophy.
... Rather than try to define itself, accepting that the field's pluralism makes it resistant to definition, one way in which CoMT orients itself is through qualities such as through the acronym PREPARE: participatory, resource-oriented, ecological, performative, activist, reflective, and ethics-driven (Stige & Aarø, 2011). Instead of an exclusively medical model of health, CoMT turns to an "ecological model" which looks at well-being as going beyond biological health and towards human flourishing (Bronfenbrenner, 1979). ...
Thesis
Frameworks for the application of the arts in community settings tend to focus on the development of individuals’ empathy or social bonds. A commensurate level of consideration tends not to be given to the socio-economic, political, and institutional forces and processes that shape such development and to how the arts might help build capacities to manage the impact of such forces and processes. The recognition of persons as interdependent in systems reliant on mutual care has implications for applications of the arts in many specialised domains as well as in general public life. Especially in clinical or social interventions, unrecognised institutional dynamics may introduce or maintain imbalances of power in community and professional practice. Music, as a participatory and temporal activity facilitating social synchrony, can foster dialogic and reciprocal relations in social life. To systematise and study a participatory music activity on an organisational and community level, I designed and implemented two collaborative songwriting programs in clinical and social service settings carried out through the nonprofit organisation, Humans in Harmony. One activity, music corps¸ was a two-month program in New York City involving participants from colleges and social service organisations serving adults with disabilities, at-risk youth, and nursing home residents. Another activity, implemented through a Humans in Harmony chapter at Columbia University Medical Center, paired health professional students with patients in palliative care support groups. Ethnographic observations and participant interviews revealed that engagement in interpersonal processes aligned with a capabilities-informed approach which emphasised social reciprocity, well-being, and flourishing. Moreover, evaluations of the activities through pre- and post-program measures supported a hypothesis of enhancement of interpersonal closeness and in attitudes about empathy and care. Such participatory approaches may offer new frameworks for the application of the arts in response to current geopolitical and cultural challenges.
Conference Paper
Neurodiversity, a term, associated with a rights-based disability agenda (Silverman, 2015), proposes that people's neurologically-based differences are no different to other social classifications such as gender and race (Singer, 2017). The Neurodiversity movement challenges systems and interventions with “normalization” as the core agenda (Bascom, 2012). Instead, “maximization” of strengths and resources is encouraged, with advocates seeking to influence all levels of society, from policy to interpersonal, everyday practices. The deep humanistic inheritance of the music therapy profession (Abrams 2015), along with ecological and community paradigms that have become more prevalent in recent times are perhaps well aligned with the principles of neurodiversity. However, disability scholars have critiqued music therapy as supporting the medical model of disability and therefore risk contributing to oppression (Cameron, 2014; Straus, 2011). During a roundtable at the European Congress of Music therapy, 2019, we are planning to discuss the possible contributions of the neurodiversity movement to music therapy. Important questions will be raised about definitions and ethics in music therapy, and on the personhood of less advocated individuals. In the present roundtable we will further discuss these topics as well as the role of music and the music therapist as viewed through the neurodiversity perspective. References Abrams, B. (2015). Humanistic approaches. In B. L. Wheeler (Ed.) Music therapy handbook (p148-160). NY: The Guilford Press. Ansdell, G. (2002). Community Music Therapy & the Winds of Change. A Discussion Paper Voices 2(2), July 1. Retrieved from: http://www.voices.no/mainissues/Voices2(2)ansdell.html Bascom, J. (2012). Loud hands: Autistic people, speaking. Washington DC: Autism Self-Advocacy Network Press. Cameron, C. (2014). Does Disability Studies have Anything to Say to Music Therapy? And Would Music Therapy Listen if it Did?. Voices: A World Forum for Music Therapy, 14(3). https://doi.org/10.15845/voices.v14i3.794 Silberman, S. (2015). Neurotribes: The legacy of autism and how to think smarter about people who think differently. Atlantic Books. Singer, J. (2017). Neurodiversity: The Birth of an idea. (Kindle Edition). Retrieved from Amazon.com Straus, J. (2011). Extraordinary Measures: Disability in Music. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Preprint
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Traditional music is gaining more and more attention in higher education in China. As a Chinese music culture, traditional folk music is also a powerful means to strengthen the construction of socialist spiritual civilization, subtly improve students ’aesthetic standards, cultivate sentiment, and promote the development of physical and mental health, and also help to improve the soft power of home country. This article takes the folk music club of Jinzhou Medical University as an example, and discusses its development, construction, management, function, and achievements. A few relevant events are analysis and reviewed. The folk music club was established in 2013, and a total of more than 100 members performed large-scale performances on and off campus. In addition to active campus life and enriching students 'own cultural accomplishments, we believe that medical students' specialty in playing musical instruments will also benefit their future careers. In accordance with the content of the professional courses, we have introduced concepts of context in music therapy and special lectures on music and neuroscience for our students. We hope that the student music club, while inheriting the traditional Chinese music culture, will also enhance its medical practice ability and achieve the goal of comprehensive development and education.
Chapter
This chapter proposes a range of strategies for considering how to enhance empathising within music therapy assemblages. Once one has mapped the assemblage one is part of (understanding the “things,” relationships, positions, affects, and entanglements at play and how territorialising is taking place), one can ask specific questions about how empathising can be encouraged in several practical ways. The chapter covers response-able access and inclusion, music therapy services, material places and spaces (with reference to therapeutic landscapes), and objects (such as adapted musical instruments). In addition, it explores how individuals and groups, communities, and social networks can be response-able. The chapter examines response-able musicking (especially in improvisational music therapy), concepts and theories, and recovery-tracking (as a form of assessing and monitoring progression within a recovery approach). Finally, the chapter explores response-able teaching and research in music therapy.KeywordsEmpathising assemblagesEnhancing empathyAccessInclusionTherapeutic landscapesResponse-able musickingTeachingResearchMusic therapy
Chapter
In translational empathy, we take a stance of honouring opacity, including cultural humility and curiosity, and acknowledge that we can gain a sense of togetherness while still being separate individuals. We become aware of the emotion translation processes taking place in our interactions, exploring how we create meaning through our interaction, how parties may communicate their emotions in different ways, and that everyone involved plays a vital role. We responsively encounter each other’s emotional expressions, collaboratively engaging in richly ambiguous communicative modalities such as musicking while recognising that social, political, and cultural dimensions impact how we express emotions and interpret each other’s emotions in incomplete ways.
Article
Black/African American adolescents from limited-resource communities face challenges and circumstances that are unique to their racialization and socioeconomic status; this merits community-engaged resources, such as community music therapy, that are equally unique in creating culturally responsive opportunities for limited-resource adolescents to engage socially with peers and experience meaningful success in a safe, supportive environment. The purpose of this study was to pilot and explore the feasibility of and behavioral processes in a community-based referential music-making intervention for limited-resource adolescents labeled as “at-risk.” The methods consisted of a concurrent nested (embedded) mixed methods design based on the principles of participatory actions research (PAR), during which qualitative data were collected during 8 focus group style music-making sessions. Quantitative data assessing self-efficacy were collected prior to first and following the 8th music-making session. The validity of quantitative results was challenged by the lowered reading level of participants and a high amount of mis-labeled (and thus unusable) data. Qualitative data suggest 3 themes, including creating community, artistic prioritization, and pride. All results were impacted by issues, such as inconsistent attendance and malfunctioning recording equipment. Nevertheless, participants expressed a collective desire to share their work with their community group. Discussion points are raised including how participants in this community music therapy-based approach were able to create and direct their own stories. The implementation of community music therapy approaches seems a valuable way to bring authentic representations of limited-resource adolescent participants into clinical practice.
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This paper presents a new approach for music therapists in schools wishing to support the work of teachers. This music therapy approach is underpinned by theoretical resources drawn from community music therapy and a critical inclusive approach to education. Illustrative examples of the first authors’ music therapy practice as part of a teacher professional learning program, Music for Classroom Wellbeing, are offered. Two practice principles, “focus on the teacher” and “enable sharing,” are presented to provide a framework for music therapists striving to support teachers. Following these principles may allow teachers to grow their musicality, teaching, and self-care practices. This paper concludes with implications of reframing the focus of music therapy practice with teachers for other music therapists working in the current performance-driven schooling system. To access the full text, please click the following link: https://academic.oup.com/mtp/advance-article/doi/10.1093/mtp/miac020/6618451?guestAccessKey=75266f01-ce9f-4250-bd36-052d0fad3260
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Music therapy is a research-based allied health discipline that utilizes music to support the health and flourishing of individuals and groups. This reflective discussion article describes some of the challenges of including spirituality in music therapy and the author’s journey from practice to a community-building project. The possibilities of music therapy in cultivating the health and well-being of a community are discussed, with reference to a growing body of music therapy literature on spirituality, health, and community.
Chapter
This chapter begins with an overview of music therapy research with autistic children (tamariki takiwātanga). The predominance of positivist research, which has been produced to meet the traditional demands of evidence-based practice (EPB), is highlighted. This is followed by an outline of music therapy practice, beginning with an indication of the range of theoretical frames that underpin practice internationally, the goals that are being addressed, and the music therapy methods that are employed.
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The purpose of this research is to analyze the significant impact music therapy can have on a group of adolescents who have committed Child to Parent Violence and a second group of teenagers at social risk. Both groups were made up of 11 participants between 13 and 21 years of age ( M = 16 years, SD = 1.66 years) with six males in each group. Both groups participated in eight music therapy interventions where state-trait anxiety levels were measured before and after each session. Furthermore, trait anxiety levels were measured after the first and eighth sessions. Our findings indicate that the treatment used performs differently in each group: a more significant reduction in state anxiety levels was observed among participants who had used Child to Parent Violence, where trait anxiety levels were more significantly reduced among participants at social risk. Our findings also indicate that music therapy can be effectively used to reduce anxiety levels among socially vulnerable groups, and that it may have a significant impact on the reduction of this disorder, depending on the anxiety level.
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