Thoughts of Ruth Bright (now retired but previously involved in many area of music therapy - both with and without upper case letters!
The UK Philosopher C. E. M. Joad used to say "Ït depends what you mean by"......", and Descartes said: "I will not argue with you unless you define your terms".
When we speak of our work in the community, the definition of terms is fraught with difficulty and we need to decide before we have any major discussion what we mean by Community Music Therapy -
I have been involved in home visits from a hospital since the early 1970's when I spent some time with Susan Munro in a Palliative Care unit in Montreal, where patients alternated between being in and out of hospital but the music therapy continued unchanged and families (the community?) were involved in both instances. I continued to make home visits for elderly patients and their families (clients? consumers?) in Sydney for many years.
A few weeks ago I attended a special Foundation Day service at my erstwhile hospital, where a group of nurses and patients (who meet for shared music one evening each week) sang solos and led the singing of the vast group of patients, staff, visitors and 'notables' who attended the Service. Community Music Therapy? Not labelled as such but it arose from the staff observations of my work at that hospital, it nourishes a sense of community, it had a therapeutic spin-off (which could probably have been given statistical value if someone wanted to do the research) and could well have been called m/Music t/Therapy - or at least 'therapeutic music'!
So - what does it all mean, and how important is it to get our definitions absolutely precise? I don't have an answer to that, but maybe answers will emerge over the years.
Responding to the comments about Australian terms 'mateship' and 'dinkum' - sadly these words are not in common use today, we tend to put them in quote marks, but the underlying truths are still there. We do work together with a sense of community (that word again!,) not without controversy - you may hear some 'dinkum barneys" when you are here for the World Congress (barney has been used since 1861 to mean an argument and 'dinkum' = genuine) but despite having ideas which may differ, we have a sense of belonging, of working together for the good of society rather than for personal glory.
See you all here in 2005!