Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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How did the Key Competencies of the New Zealand Curriculum Feature in Student Music Therapy Practice for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder?

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Version 1 2021-12-08, 14:44
posted on 2023-09-22, 01:44 authored by Sutherland, Emmett

This study aimed to discover how the key competencies featured in student music therapy with three children who have autism spectrum disorder. Individual music therapy was carried out in the natural environment of a primary school and clinical notes were developed to record events and reflections on the sessions. This data was then retrospectively analysed in a process known as secondary analysis which used inductive and deductive techniques. A process of thematically analysing data revealed that the three children with autism spectrum disorder demonstrated the key competencies in diverse ways in music therapy, such as through letting their personalities shine (managing self) and relating from shared histories and relationships (relating to others), and that I assisted the development of the key competencies for children in equally diverse ways, such as, by being well-being focused, giving openly and making music therapy child-led. A clinical vignette is used to illustrate the findings. Additionally, it is suggested that the unique ways in which the key competencies are used in arts education and music therapy could be considered to a greater extent in the New Zealand Curriculum definitions of the competencies.


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

CC BY 4.0

Degree Discipline

Music Therapy

Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Music Therapy

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code


Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

New Zealand School of Music


Hoskyns, Sarah