Community Music Therapy

Community Music Therapy

Community Music Therapy

Community Music Therapy


"Community Music Therapy follows the 'ripple effect' of music how it spreads outwards, attracts people, naturally involves them in musicing. Community Music therapy is a way of considering music therapy in more culturally, socially and politically sensitive ways. It suggests new practices and new thinking for music therapy in the 21st century, and offers a critique of some older ones. In this first book on Community Music Therapy Pavlicevic and Ansdell are joined by 14 music therapists from different parts of the world who work in conventional and unconventional settings with a variety of client groups, and who offer new perspectives on their work: on their identity and role as a music therapist, the sites and boundaries of their work, their aims and the means for achieving these, and their assumptions and attitudes about how music, people and context interact." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved


Even Ruud

When music therapy was reinvented as a modern profession in the middle of last century, it became affiliated with established institutions and ideologies. Music therapy was incorporated into university programs, and research was initiated within a natural science paradigm. Music therapy was constructed as a treatment profession where the individual relation between a client and a therapist was foregrounded. Therapy was performed within medical or special educational frames, and music became a means to establish and regulate the basic therapeutic relationship. For many years, music therapy seemed less preoccupied with larger social forces or cultural contexts. Music therapists insisted upon the boundaries between their discipline and others, such as music education, community musical practices or alternative healing medicines.

Thus, music therapy was performed inside the institution, in the music therapy room. There were few links to the world outside; sometimes even other children, parents and siblings were not involved in the therapy. The biomedical model of illness did not allow therapists to consider or challenge social and material conditions, social networks or cultural contexts when therapeutic measures where taken. Also, at the time, systemic thinking was not developed within music therapy.

Gradually, music therapists have come to realize that ill-health and handicaps have to be seen within a totality, as part of social systems and embedded in material processes. People become ill not only because of physical processes, but also because they become disempowered by ignorance and lack of social understanding. Music therapists have come to see how their tool, music, may be unique in involving other persons, to empower and make visible those who, because of ill-health and handicap, have lost access to the symbols and expressive means so important in every culture. Music therapists are now on . . .

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