Title page for ETD etd-11202007-100556


Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Bam, Marilize
Email marilize.bam@webmail.co.za
URN etd-11202007-100556
Document Title How the emerging field of community music therapy discourse informs the narrative of a music therapist working in the community of Eersterust
Degree MMus (Music Therapy)
Department Music
Supervisor
Advisor Name Title
Ms M Paullcevic Committee Co-Chair
Ms A van Heerden Supervisor
Keywords
  • consensus model
  • community music therapy
  • discourse
  • social construction theory
  • narrative
Date 2006-09-05
Availability restricted
Abstract

The context of this research project is Eersterust, a suburb situated east of Pretoria. Eersterust is hallmarked by socio-economic contrast: While some people in the community live comfortable lives, other community-members endure poverty and hardship. Eersterust is plagued by socio-economical problems including unemployment, crime, substance abuse and gang-activity. Music Therapy was established in Eersterust in 2003 at a community-based centre called YDO (The National Youth Development Outreach). YDO facilitates the social rehabilitation of adolescents who are at risk of coming in conflict with the law or have already committed some sort of petty crime. When Music Therapy was introduced at YDO it was isolated from the rest of the organisation as well as from the broader community of Eersterust. The Music Therapist at YDO realised that she had to adapt her work in order for it to justly address the needs of the context. In the process of adaptation, Music Therapy became integrated within the organisation and currently works both with and within the broader community of Eersterust.

The adaptation of the Music Therapy practice has lead to some unconventional practices of Music Therapy according to traditional Music Therapy discourse. These Music Therapy practices may be described from a Community Music Therapy angle. The aim of this research project is to analyse the narrative of the Music Therapist working within YDO/Eersterust in order to describe the practice of Music Therapy within this context from the angle of Community Music Therapy. The following research questions were addressed in this research study:

  1. How is Community Music Therapy at Eersterust constructed in the context of a Music Therapy narrative?
  2. How does the narrative draw from and contribute to the emerging field of Community Music Therapy?

The study is conducted within a qualitative paradigm and methods of narrative analysis were used to describe the practice of Music Therapy in the context of YDO/Eersterust. The research study is data-driven and raw data consisted of a single semi-structured interview conducted with the Music Therapist working at YDO. The narrative text was transcribed, coded and categorized. From the analysis process themes emerged that indicated the primacy of the context in influencing the construction of the narrative of the Music Therapist. These themes were used to answer the two pertaining research questions.

The discussion focuses on the importance of the context as it seems to impinge directly on the Music Therapy practice within the context of YDO/Eersterust. The discussion draws from Social Construction Theory to explain how Community Music Therapy is constructed within the narrative of the Music Therapist. At the same time Community Music Therapy draws from and contributes to the narrative of the Music Therapist. Certain areas of discussion were highlighted in the emerging themes and these areas are used to describe Community Music Therapy within the context of YDO/Eersterust.

In this research project the Consensus Model is presented as a contrasting thinking tool to Community Music Therapy discourse. The Consensus Model describes the standardised practice of Music Therapy as a neutral and transferable therapeutic model that can be applied in a similar way in all contexts while Community Music Therapy advocates context-bound and context-specific Music Therapy work with and within communities. Community Music Therapy implies that Music Therapy is not necessarily a neutral model that can be transferred from one context to the next. Areas may exist where Community Music Therapy and the Consensus Model may present different opinions regarding Music Therapy practice. The narrative data concludes that both Community Music Therapy and the Consensus Model are constructed within the narrative of the Music Therapist. Both these models exist simultaneously in the context of YDO/Eersterust.

Music Therapy in South Africa is still an emerging field of practice. Community Music Therapy may be especially relevant to South Africa as Music Therapists are increasingly called upon to work in the contexts of socio-economically disadvantaged communities, similar to Eersterust. Whilst this study may have focused only on a single community in South Africa, my hope is that it will encourage Music Therapists in South Africa to review and research Music Therapy with and within communities in South Africa. This study will also contribute to the emerging discourse of Community Music Therapy.

2004, University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria.

Please cite as follows:

Bam, M 2004, How the emerging field of community music therapy discourse informs the narrative of a music therapist working in the community of Eersterust, MMus dissertation, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-11202007-100556/ >

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