How did I use music therapy to foster connections between residents, and between residents and others in a rest home and hospital environment
Abstract This study is submitted in part fulfilment of a Master of Music Therapy degree through Victoria University of Wellington (VUW). Group and individual music therapy sessions were undertaken within a rest home and hospital environment in response to the rest home managers request to bring residents out of isolation and increase socialisation. Facility notes, plans and observations, meeting notes, and reflective and reflexive journaling were written during a six-month period from February to July 2019. This clinical data was then used, with informed consent, to investigate how music therapy was used to foster connections between residents, and between residents and others within the rest home and hospital environment. Findings from Secondary Analysis of the data showed the overarching category of rapport led to the interplay of four main themes: interdisciplinary collaboration and teamwork, therapeutic approaches, physical and musical resources, and environmental conditions. The Community Music Therapy (CoMT) ethos supported the flexible work within the context to achieve the manager’s goals resulting in increased connection between residents, and residents and others. The use of reflexivity enabled the development of richer therapeutic relationships and helped align the researcher’s community musician skills to those of a community music therapist. Further studies which focus on rapport, connection and relationships, in music therapy with older people, are needed.