What music therapy methods and techniques are likely to be the most appropriate for children working within a Conductive Education programme, and why?
The purpose of this research project is to explore the information available about the use of music therapy methods and techniques when working with children (0-6) who have physical disabilities, particularly in a Conductive Education setting. This is qualitative exploratory theoretical research. The data analysis strategy used is triangulation, which involves three sources of data. Thematic analysis of data was of nine pieces of literature, eight video transcriptions, and three meeting notes and three clinical supervision notes. From the analysis, four core themes were generated: 1) familiar songs, 2) following children, 3) repeated musical structure, 4) and musical cueing. Within the core themes, two music therapy methods, improvisation and re-creation, and many music therapy techniques overlap and interweave.
Findings show a development of theory for this population that music therapists can naturally use improvisation and re-creative music therapy methods. They can use familiar songs, designing structured and repeated interactions in the music activities, following children in the moment to respond to them musically, and using musical elements to provide cueing and support. The four core themes identified in this research indicate the areas which can help children to participate in activities and improve their motor skills.