The use of musical interactions to collaborate with teaching staff and specialist services at a special education school.
This research aimed to investigate how a student music therapist used musical interactions to collaborate with teaching staff and specialist services at a special education school in New Zealand. Music therapists in this context are able to collaborate by assisting and supporting other therapy professionals and staff. I was particularly interested in how the ‘music’ served as a collaborative tool within the school and what was meaningful that developed from these musical interactions between school members. Through secondary analysis of my reflective clinical journal notes I was able to explore how I used musical interactions to collaborate. Data was coded, sorted into meaning units, and themes were then drawn out using thematic analysis. The findings suggested that musical interactions promoted staff experiences of music making with others as well as supporting student goals, by corresponding to the classroom learning agenda. Musical interactions gave support in resourcing staff to become facilitators of music in the classroom, as well as supporting the little moments when life at a special education setting can be challenging. Lastly, musical interactions were perceived to build a sense of community within the school. Music-making and facilitation of music in mostly informal settings seemed to support connecting and relationship building between students and staff.