What Is the Experience of a Community Musician Who Is Also a Music Therapist?


  • Lucy O'Grady




he notion of "community music therapy" has received much attention in recent years, provoking a variety of thought processes as to its definition and all that it encompasses. Amidst the "polyphony of voices" (Stige, 2003), the relationship between music and music therapy in community settings has been a point of discussion . I have decided to explore this issue through semi-structured in-depth interviews with both musicians and music therapists working in community settings within Australia. As this is a qualitative study, it is important for me to examine my own biases and to set them aside. One way to do this was to have my supervisor, Dr Katrina McFerran, interview me about my own work as a community musician with women in prison, questioning me about aims, methods, outcomes, roles and relationships with participants. In addition to helping me "bracket" my biases, it was a great way for me to put myself in the shoes of prospective research participants and re-learn that it can be hard to articulate oneself when under pressure, that a certain head-space is preferable in interviews, and that having someone to listen to my reflections can actually help me move forward in my own search for meaning. Transcribing the interview was also an interesting experience, as I was able to rethink my thinking. Now, the transcript is an interesting relic of what I once thought I thought! And yet it still highlights some interesting aspects of the research topic.




How to Cite

O’Grady, L. (2004). What Is the Experience of a Community Musician Who Is Also a Music Therapist?. Voices: A World Forum for Music Therapy, 4(2). https://doi.org/10.15845/voices.v4i2.181