How Do I Use Music Therapy To Support The Interpersonal Communication Of Children With Learning Support Needs At A Mainstream Primary School?
This research focuses on one student’s experience of using music therapy to support the interpersonal communication skills of children in a mainstream primary school. Using first-person research as a methodological approach (Hunt, 2016), I examined the rich, qualitative data I had collected in my clinical notes as part of my practice. I used secondary analysis of data using thematic analysis to code, categorise, and detect themes in the data, which then enabled me to tell my story. I drew on music therapy literature which described the communication challenges children with learning support needs typically experience (for example, those with autism spectrum disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), as well as literature on interpersonal skills such as turn-taking and joint attention. Although early research shows that music therapy interventions can support interpersonal communication skills, the research on children with various learning support needs in New Zealand is still scant. My research will add to this literature by describing some of the ways music therapy is used with three children who have various learning support needs in a mainstream school environment in New Zealand.