Music Therapy, Social Policy and Ecological Models: A Located Example of Music in Australian Schools
Keywords:Social policy, ecological model, school music, music therapy, education
While music therapy courses rarely cover the finer points of social policy, a basic knowledge of how this system of governance works can be highly beneficial for those wanting to maximise their presence and impact in a given field. Taking an ecological approach, this article presents how music therapy as a discipline and practise can be seen as located within a structure of policy. Further, it illustrates how understanding this structure can help practitioners and researchers capitalise on the opportunities they provide, and work around the barriers they impose. It does this by providing a background of the ecological model approach, and discussing how this approach can be useful for thinking about the relationship between music therapy and social policy. It then uses the policy situation surrounding music in Australian schools to give a grounded example of how understanding this situation can help position music therapy to meet key policy goals at national and localised levels. It is hoped that increased awareness, and an example of how it can be applied, will empower music therapists to learn about policies in their specific areas, and capitalise on the opportunities they provide.
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