Considering the ways music therapists are working in 2018 and beyond (p4)
Carers' experiences of group therapeutic songwriting: An interpretive phenomenological analysis (p8-18)
Supporting carers of people living with dementia to live happy and healthy lives is of international importance. This study aimed to explore carers’ experiences of participating in a creative group songwriting process. Four carers (2 male and 2 female) of people living with dementia participated in four therapeutic group songwriting sessions. Facilitated by two music therapists and support staff, the participants co-created a song that reflected their carer experiences allowing positive and negative perspectives to be represented in the song. Interpretative phenomenological analysis was used to analyse interviews with the four carers at the end of the programme. A cross-case analysis was performed to identify recurring themes and subthemes. Findings highlight that carers’ experience of the programme went beyond their expectations. They found the collaborative component of co-creating songs was meaningful, and subsequently, the song held meaning for the group. Carers experienced the songwriting process as empowering, having a voice that was heard by genuinely attentive listeners and that they learned about themselves, each other, and the carer journey through the process. This study provides preliminary indications that group songwriting in carer programmes is a worthwhile experience, but further research is needed to understand its impact on wellbeing.
Building community through song: The therapeutic hospice choir (p18-26)
Music enables us not only to reflect upon the world in which we live but also to become active agents in creating and shaping it and ourselves. The Treehouse Choir is an innovative, therapeutic programme open to all adult service users and staff at one of the East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices. The target group of the choir membership focuses primarily on the mothers of children receiving care at the hospice and bereaved mothers. The choir addresses the need for psychosocial support for families as they face the challenges of caring for a child with life-limiting and complex health conditions, as well as families mourning the loss of a child. This article analyzes data collected from questionnaires and interviews referring to the emotional, psychological and social benefits of participation in the choir. It examines how singing in the choir serves as a means through which individuals form a community built on shared life experiences, bridging boundaries between service provider and service user, creating a means of self-expression, and breaking down barriers to enable new lines of communication within a non-threatening environment. It also examines the role of public performances in promoting greater awareness of the services provided by the hospice.
Music as a way out: How musicking helped a collaborative rock band of ex-inmates (p27-37)
This article explores how the members of Me and THE BAND, a rock band consisting of three ex-inmates and a music therapist, experienced playing together, how it helps them, and whether and how this can be related to the concept of self-help. Focus group interviews were conducted to explore the members’ experiences, analysis was grounded in a hermeneutic philosophical understanding and the theoretical framework is based in a community music therapy approach. The study indicates how musicking helped the band members of Me and THE BAND’its to create agency, structure, meaning and community. The band appeared to function through collaborative processes, and the music therapists as facilitator need to prepare the qualities of equality, mutuality and participation. As a conclusion, the members of Me and THE BAND’its do not identify as being a self-help group, although they clearly report that musicking helps them. The crux of this paradox is that it is important for the group members to identify as a band, but they still include self-help concepts and traditions. They maintain their own uniqueness and independence, while making musicking a possible way out of criminality.
Gary Ansdell, Tia DeNora & Sarah Wilson, Musical Pathways in Recovery: Community Music Therapy and Wellbeing (p38)
Philip Neilson, Robert King & Felicity Baker (Eds), Creative Arts in Counseling and Mental Heath (p39)
Anthea Hendry and Joy Hasler, Creative Therapies for Complex Trauma: Helping Children and Families in Foster Care, Kinship Care or Adoption (p42)
Stuart Wood, A Matrix for Community Music Therapy Practice (p43)