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How do I Perceive the Silences in my one-to-one Music Therapy Sessions

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posted on 2021-12-08, 02:40 authored by Sekeris, Theodore

Music therapy research is predominantly focused on the sounds and words that occur in sessions. The role and place of silence within usual practice is not so well covered in research literature. In this research, I used an auto-ethnographic approach and thematic analysis to try and understand how I perceive the silences in my own individual music therapy sessions with learners at a high school. This approach allowed me to connect with my own personal experience with silence, as it is a highly subjective and context dependent phenomena and tool. I perceived silence in nine major themes. Findings suggest I tend to ‘observe’ the learners when silences occur, for a variety of reasons, and this seems to contrast with my previous understanding of my therapeutic approach. Specifically, I found that I am more behaviourally focussed than I realised before I began my research journey, particularly in the way that I write and recall events in the therapy room. The research process enabled me to find out more about my personal relationship with silence, and to some degree a personal truth about myself.


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

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


Rickson, Daphne