Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Music Analysis of Clinical Improvisations with an Adolescent Who Has Communication Difficulties

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Version 2 2023-03-13, 23:55
Version 1 2021-11-10, 19:31
posted on 2023-03-14, 23:27 authored by Wang, Anna Ping-An

This qualitative study examines four improvisations taken from four phases of the researcher's clinical music therapy experience with an adolescent who had Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Therapeutic changes and communicative qualities in the improvisations were traced through reviewing clinical notes and journal reflections, and using adapted versions of Bruscia's Improvisational Assessment Profiles (Autonomy and Variability profile) to provide insights to the description and interpretation of the music. The results suggest a progression in the client's awareness of the music therapy student (MTS) (who later became the researcher) an increased ability to interact through turn-taking, imitating, sharing and empathetic playing, as well as enhanced non-verbal and verbal skills. The analyses unfold the client and the music therapy student's journey in music therapy, highlighting the process of how two strangers became partners through improvisations.


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

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

New Zealand School of Music


Rickson, Daphne