How Do Music Therapy Methods & Techniques Contribute To Adolescent and Young Adult Student Confidence At A Special School In New Zealand?
This exploratory study investigates how methods and techniques employed in ‘client centered’ music therapy contributed to student confidence, during individual and group sessions, with young adolescents and young adults who have delays in various areas of development. Secondary analysis of twenty weeks of clinical documentation of music therapy session notes, including a student reflective journal were used to identify methods and techniques at play. A thematic analysis was applied to analyse and interpret the details of musical interactions. The analysis of the musical interactions has helped the researcher to understand and articulate the methods and techniques that contributed to confidence. Four themes that emerged from the student music therapist’s application of music therapy that appeared to contribute to student confidence were: 1. making meaningful relationships; 2. participating in practical work; 3. creativity; and 4. providing affirming input. Within these themes there was an array of interactions where methods and techniques were visible and these are described in a findings and discussion section. Although findings from this qualitative study cannot be generalized they do suggest that the student music therapist could contribute to the confidence of the young people through a reflexive, humanistic approach to practice, and by keeping an appreciation to student abilities.