Music, Violence and Music Therapy with Young People in Schools: A Position Paper
Keywords:Music, music therapy, violence, aggression
Music therapists have rarely involved themselves in the discourse linking music and violence. Instead, representatives of the profession have advocated for the positive outcomes that can result from the use of music by trained therapists working with people who have experienced violence or been violent. In this position paper, we will elaborate a much-needed position that first acknowledges the ways that music can promote violence, and then focuses on different ways to work with young people involved in violence. The position paper is structured around the examination of three types of music therapy programs and our purpose is to bring to light the beliefs that underpin each program, both the viewpoints about the cause of violence, and assumptions about how potentially negative relationships between young people and music can be made positive. We conclude by describing different methods for evaluating such programs that are congruent with the assumptions that underpin them. It is hoped that the positions we delineate will support music therapists and others to be more conscious of the relationship between music and violence when designing programs for young people.
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